“We don’t always have to choose macroeconomic conditions,” Google CEO Sundar Pichai told disgruntled workers.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai reportedly got upset during a “heated” corporate meeting when an employee brought up benefits and perks and asked why the search engine nickel and dimes employees.

According to audio obtained by CNBC, when the company reported “record profits and high cash reserves,” an employee asked Apple why Google was “nickel-dimming employees.”

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Google’s proposed question received a positive response from its partners, who rated it highly in the company’s internal Dory question-and-answer system, CNBC reported.

Pichai paused to collect his thoughts and gave a balanced response.

“How can I say that?” The CEO reportedly began responding to the disgruntled employee.

“Look, I hope you all read the news out there,” Pichai continued. “The fact that you know, we’re taking on more responsibility in one of the most difficult macroeconomic conditions in the last decade, and I think it’s important that as a company, we come together to get through these times.

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Pichai is said to have seemed angry, saying that “we shouldn’t always pick macroeconomic conditions.” He added that the company said it was important to “be smart, be frugal, be smarter, be smarter, be more efficient.”

“I remember when Google was small and dirty,” Pichai said.

“It wasn’t always fun – we shouldn’t always equate fun with money. I think you can go into a startup that works hard and people can be having fun and it doesn’t always have to equate to money.

An employee commented on Dory that Pichai was cutting travel costs while at the same time flying from the Bay Area headquarters to New York to meet with them.

“It’s an interesting choice for Sunder to be in New York … after staff travel is reduced to the most critical business,” the employee wrote on Dory.

I’m sure Sundar has business-critical meetings in New York.

“I think so,” Pichai said. I think it’s worthy. According to CNBC, the response drew laughter from the audience.

The CEO, who hinted at layoffs after the company imposed a hiring freeze earlier this summer, has pushed back against employee comments that Google is shifting to an “aggressive cost-cutting” strategy.

“I’m a little concerned that what we’ve done is what you would describe as ruthless cost-cutting,” Pichai said. “I think it’s important that we stay connected. In such cases, you need to take a long-term view.

Pichai, who raised questions about executive pay at Google, said the company is “still investing in long-term projects like quantum computing.”

Pichai earned $6.3 million in salary last year.

The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this week that Google has announced that some employees will have to apply for new jobs at the company if they hope to stay employed.

Those who fail to reapply within 90 days will be released, the Journal reported.

Google’s parent company, Alphabet, reported that it had 174,014 employees on payroll at the end of the second quarter.

In July, Alphabet reported weaker-than-expected revenue and earnings. The company expects third-quarter sales growth to fall into the single digits — a far cry from the more than 40% figure a year ago.

Shares of Alphabet GOOG;

It was down 1.4% on Friday.

The New York Post said it had sought comment from the company.

An Alphabet spokesperson told CNBC: “Sandar has been in constant communication with the company over the past few months about ways we can focus more.”

The spokesperson said that Pichai told employees that the company “is working to ensure that the leaders are responsible and efficient in everything their teams do.”

Pichai told employees that managers are “making sure our people are doing high-impact/high-priority work,” according to a company representative.

A version of this report appeared on NYPost.com.

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