Google Execs in Secret Layoff MeetingsS

More layoffs are coming to Google, employees there believe. A Googler tells us top executives abruptly cancelled meetings across the Googleplex Friday.

"People are talking about some senior level offsites happening this weekend to discuss an upcoming round of major layoffs," our source tells us. Googlers have been expecting substantial job cuts for some time, beyond the hundreds of recruiters, marketers, and salespeople laid off earlier this year.

One reason for a sudden, panicked push to slash jobs: Google CEO Eric Schmidt spent most of last fall blithely ignoring the economic carnage. When Google started to feel an impact, it tried to limit cuts to its vast ranks of contractors. (Google has never confirmed the numbers, but some in the Valley believe it fired as many as 10,000 contract workers.)

The company still has 20,000-plus employees, and continues to hire, even though Wall Street analysts think the company could carry on without a hiccup at half that size. The question is when Google's engineers, a powerful clan which effectively rules the company, will start feeling management's knives.