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Posted on Wed, Sep 14, 2011 : 5:59 a.m.

Google quietly contracting with global outsourcing firm for some employees at Ann Arbor office

By Nathan Bomey

Search engine giant Google Inc. is quietly outsourcing some jobs at its Ann Arbor sales office to a major global outsourcing firm, has learned.

Google is contracting with Bermuda-based outsourcer GenPact Ltd. to help staff its AdWords sales office in downtown Ann Arbor, said independent sources familiar with Google’s operation.

It’s unclear how many employees GenPact is providing to Google, though online job postings and social media references indicate that GenPact is playing an important role in supporting Google’s sales operation.


Google is outsourcing some jobs at its office in downtown Ann Arbor.

Angela Cesere |

The GenPact contractors, who are working side-by-side with Google’s employees at the Ann Arbor office, are described as conducting sales support activities for the AdWords operation. Most of Google’s local employees manage advertising relationships with major corporate customers.

The revelation — a rare insight into a company that takes great pains to keep its internal workings secret — raises questions about how many Google employees work at the Ann Arbor office.

When Google launched its Ann Arbor office in 2006, the company promised to hire 1,000 employees by 2011 in exchange for a $38.25 million tax credit from the Michigan Economic Development Corp.’s Michigan Economic Growth Authority (MEGA) board.

Since then, Google has been consistently hesitant to reveal the exact number of workers it employs in Ann Arbor, generally giving estimates instead of specifics. The company told earlier this year that it had more than 250 workers at its Ann Arbor office — unchanged from two years ago.

The company also announced in January that it would accelerate hiring at its two Michigan offices in 2011 as part of Google’s global plan to hire 6,000 new workers this year.

Now, it’s unclear whether those new jobs are Google employees or workers contracted by GenPact.

A GenPact spokeswoman declined to address’s questions or confirm the relationship with Google.

“Unfortunately GenPact cannot reference any of our clients,” GenPact spokeswoman Barbara Tate said.

A Chicago-based spokesman for Google told in an email that “we expect 25 percent headcount growth” at Google’s two Michigan offices in 2011. (Google has much smaller office in Birmingham.)

The Google spokesman declined to confirm the relationship with GenPact but did acknowledge that Google sometimes uses contractors.

“Google (company-wide) has both full-time employees and dozens of contractors providing phone support to our advertisers,” the spokesman said in an email. “Hiring contract employees is standard practice for Google across the country and in Michigan, where some of them are based. We work with a wide range of vendors of all sorts and as a matter of business, we do not comment on those relationships.”

Google’s contractual work is not a particularly unusual activity for a local business. Many companies use contractors or temporary employees. In fact, the number of temporary jobs in Washtenaw County was expected to rise by 1,458 from 2009 to 2013, according to a University of Michigan economic forecast released in March.

In a publicly accessible job posting on, GenPact said it’s seeking a “customer support specialist” to conduct sales activities for “our client partner, an industry leading internet search provider,” which “is partnering with GenPact to create a new process for customer support in Ann Arbor.”

According to the job listing, the full-time job is based at 201 S. Division St. in Ann Arbor, the address for the McKinley Towne Centre building, where Google’s local office is based.

The job pays $12 to $12.50 an hour with “excellent benefits and paid-time off,” according to the posting, which is also cross-posted on other job websites.

At that hourly rate, a GenPact worker would receive up to $500 a week, or $26,000 a year.

Google’s MEGA tax credit was based on an average salary of $913 a week, or $47,476 a year, according to a document provided to in 2009.

Subcontracted employees being paid $500 a week would not help Google meet the criteria to qualify for MEGA tax relief, said Elizabeth Parkinson, vice president for marketing and public relations at MEDC.

According to official state tax policy, companies have no legal obligation to follow the promises they made when they initially received MEGA tax credits — a controversial tax incentive program that will not be offered to future recipients after first-term Gov. Rick Snyder sought its demise earlier this year.

However, MEGA tax recipients only receive tax relief if they can prove they hired employees at the rate they originally promised. Companies can hire workers who don’t qualify the company for the tax credit and simply choose not to claim the tax credit.

Parkinson said that Google was most recently approved for MEGA tax relief in 2008, when the company filed an application stating that it had 224 employees in Michigan. The company also filed an application for 2009, but the state is still processing that application, which is cross-referenced with tax documents before being approved.

The news comes as GenPact is in the midst of an expansion of its U.S. presence. The company, which says it has more than 47,000 employees in 17 countries and annual revenue of $1.26 billion, announced Thursday that it is accelerating its U.S. hiring.

GenPact “has doubled its U.S. workforce in the last 18 months and expects to continue to increase its U.S. workforce through aggressive recruiting initiatives for business development, operations, analytics and reengineering positions,” according to a news release.

The company said it’s adding jobs at “growing services delivery centers” at operations in Illinois, Pennsylvania, California and 10 “additional U.S. locations,” which are not identified in the news release. On its website, GenPact lists only one U.S. office — in New York City. Most of the company’s official operations are based in Asia, including six offices in India and three in China.

Genpact said it would spend the next several months hiring and training new employees throughout the U.S., collaborating with nearby community colleges and universities to train workers

“Growth of our clients’ businesses is the best way to create jobs and we are helping some of our clients do just that,” GenPact CEO Tiger Tyagarajan said in a statement “In all countries where we operate, we are committed to developing and training available people to help businesses succeed and contribute to the economy through partnerships with local governments and educational institutions. That is GenPact’s strategy for inclusive growth.”

On Tuesday, Google lists several job openings for new Google employees on its Ann Arbor careers page, including “inside sales representative” and “online sales manager.”

GenPact was created in 1997 as a unit of General Electric Capital, which spun off GenPact in 2005. The company went public in 2007 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Contact's Nathan Bomey at (734) 623-2587 or You can also follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's newsletters.



Thu, Feb 21, 2013 : 6:32 p.m.

Hey is anybody outsourcing a BPO process outhere?


Wed, Jul 11, 2012 : 8:48 p.m.

Thanks for writing this story, Mr. Bomey. It's NOT fiction and don't let the bullies intimidate you.


Thu, Sep 15, 2011 : 3:54 p.m.

Shame on you Nathan Bomey. Misrepresenting the facts and sowing the seeds of ill will among your readers. Thankfully, people like Bob Martel can chime in as the voice of reason and encourage people to seek out the facts rather than accept your sensationalist fiction. There are real people working hard in A2 to make things better and your contributions are consistently sour. Please do the community a favor and stop writing about stuff you clearly know little about.


Wed, Jul 11, 2012 : 8:41 p.m.

A2VC You clearly didn't work for Genpact...and are they paying any taxes? All I know is that they're cracking the whip on young folks who ARE smart enough to be Google employees. Genpact was a GE start-up (read "corporate call center in India"). They're just wringing the most out of our educated workforce w/o the perks of Google. It's like a sweat shop. Googlers aren't harassed to quotas and forced to compete against their co-workers, all the while putting up with crappy work conditions. The head of the operation doesn't even know the program, but I bet he got a big bonus...while giving his workers a $.25 raise. Woo-hoo, cheerleader.

Audion Man

Thu, Sep 15, 2011 : 4:31 p.m.

Translation: "Shut up and let the nice businesses do whatever they want."

Macabre Sunset

Thu, Sep 15, 2011 : 9:09 a.m.

What was that Google motto again? Ah yes... Do No Evil. Would fleecing Michigan taxpayers out of tens of millions of dollars qualify as evil? No idea.

Ryan J. Stanton

Thu, Sep 15, 2011 : 1:25 a.m.

For anyone curious, Ann Arbor CFO Tom Crawford told me today that Google no longer gets free parking incentives from the city, and when they did it was based on new hires.

Tom Whitaker

Thu, Sep 15, 2011 : 2:12 a.m.

Ryan: Was money set aside by the City to pay for Google's free parking? Was it all used up for Google parking? If not, where did the surplus go? Thanks!


Thu, Sep 15, 2011 : 1:04 a.m.

AA went nuts for this company when it rented a few cubes for telemarketers. Folks, Google had a Detroit, MI presence before it had an AA presence. Look it up. So much for all the "google is in Michigan as AA is da bomb" headlines of the time.

Ricardo Queso

Wed, Sep 14, 2011 : 11:44 p.m.

Whew! I'm glad the solar panel industry is still above reproach.

J Shaker

Wed, Sep 14, 2011 : 10:55 p.m.



Wed, Sep 14, 2011 : 7:34 p.m.

Shouldn't you be able to read in tax docs how many employees at at the Ann Arbor location. Or since it's public tax record, FOIA to to see if the tax credit has been claimed?

Mark Salke

Wed, Sep 14, 2011 : 5:31 p.m.

That's nice work, Nathan. I wonder if you might follow up with a piece that investigates the power of the MEDC to enforce the provisions of the tax credit? Are there any fines or other means by which to either compel a company to comply with the tax credit arrangement or to recover the portion of the credit due to non-compliance?


Wed, Sep 14, 2011 : 5:28 p.m.

Oh, c'mon. If Google doesn't hit the hiring targets, they won't get the tax credits. Contract labor hired through out-sourcing companies is very common in the tech business (and some cases, the contract employees are paid as much -- or more -- than permanent employees -- which is a trade-off for the lack of job security). I would prefer an attractive business environment overall rather than special deals to lure in employers, but Google isn't ripping anybody off.


Thu, Sep 15, 2011 : 1:06 a.m.

They have already received the credits, if their deal was similar to that of another firm I am familiar with. The penalties for not hiring the minimum employees etc. is almost certainly similar to the penalty most government contractors receive for failure to produce: my contractor buddy calls it the "take away my birthday" clause.

Mark Salke

Wed, Sep 14, 2011 : 5:34 p.m.

True? The piece is missing any mention of how the tax credits are administered. If Google loses it's 'tax credit' status due to non-compliance, then good! They can follow whatever hiring practices they deem best. But they should not receive the credits if they are not complying with the provisions of the tax credit.


Wed, Sep 14, 2011 : 5:01 p.m.

Probably we need to change the law rather than blame a business when they follow the law and do a good job to maximize profits. To make the playing field level, any goods or services sold in the US should have a tariff based on production costs at offshort production locations; cost of living, cost of addressing social and environmental protections, etc.


Wed, Sep 14, 2011 : 4:12 p.m.

This article reeks of journalism!


Wed, Sep 14, 2011 : 4:05 p.m.

"According to official state tax policy, companies have no legal obligation to follow the promises they made when they initially received MEGA tax credits — a controversial tax incentive program that will not be offered to future recipients after first-term Gov. Rick Snyder sought its demise earlier this year." Snyder did the right thing regarding this tax policy, that's for sure!


Wed, Sep 14, 2011 : 4:03 p.m.

$26K a year? Is that a "living wage" in Ann Arbor? Realistically, it takes a salary of about $35K to live in Ann Arbor, and that's probably a low figure.


Wed, Sep 14, 2011 : 3:24 p.m.

Apparently many commenters have not read the article too well. The tax incentive program was discontinued at Gov. Snyder's request. It was not his program. Perhaps the state, by promising companies tax breaks without the individual company having to follow up on its promises, felt that at least they would get the companies here in Michigan, that that was a start. Snyder's approach is different. He wants to create a favorable climate for businesses without alll the red tape.


Wed, Sep 14, 2011 : 3:16 p.m.

This is news? I expect this kind of behavior out of businesses. I'm surprised when they behave ethically.

Tom Joad

Wed, Sep 14, 2011 : 3:07 p.m.

In the Google Empire Ad Sense is tantamount to working in Burma They really only came to Ann Arbor because the CEO attended college here


Wed, Sep 14, 2011 : 2:47 p.m.

Google will argue, perhaps rightly so, that the talent needed to perform the jobs in Ann Arbor is unavailable. That is often the case around here, in spite of the City population's high opinion of itself. There is no substitute for knowledge and skill and expectation of reasonable, uninflated wages.


Thu, Sep 15, 2011 : 1:11 a.m.

"Reasonable wages" for the workers, really? And how much does the middle man get?


Wed, Sep 14, 2011 : 6:30 p.m.

Could this be the reason why they are hiring through a third party and offering to pay $12 to $12.50 per hour? Not a living wage at these pay rates.


Wed, Sep 14, 2011 : 2:37 p.m.

No company should receive tax breaks of any kind merely for coming into an area. It's unfair to the residents who have to pick up the slack while the Googles and the Wal-Marts of the world turn in record profits; it's unfair to existing businesses that get no tax breaks but make significant contributions to the community; and in some cases, tax breaks for new businesses are downright anti-competitive. What is the rationale for putting an area's existing businesses at a disadvantage for a new business that promises much before actually delivering a thing? Residents don't get tax breaks for moving into an area. Businesses shouldn't get them either.

Ron Granger

Wed, Sep 14, 2011 : 1:57 p.m.

Proquest/UMI made huge hiring claims to get their tax credit in Ann Arbor. Those thousands of jobs seemed laughable at the time, and even more so once the company was found to have illegally cooked the books (inflating revenue). There were indictments but lots of people - especially execs - walked away with bonus money that should never have been awarded, etc. The company was broken into pieces and sold off. Portions remain in A2. What credit are they still getting for jobs that never happened?


Wed, Sep 14, 2011 : 1:35 p.m.

This article implies that the tax break was given without any way of checking whether Google was abiding by the terms. Is that really the case?


Wed, Sep 14, 2011 : 1:15 p.m.

This again is further proof that taxes are NEVER the reason people hire more people. They hire people based on need and demand. Google hires the number of people they need to run their operations. Taxes can be zero for businesses like Rick Snyder wants and hiring does not follow. Selling more product or service does. Look at the car companies. Sell more cars, hire more people. Basic Supply and demand economics.


Wed, Sep 14, 2011 : 2:48 p.m.

But taxes relate to fixed expenses, which (among several other variables) have a lot to do with where they decide to set up operations and who to hire to run those operations. Basic business accounting.


Wed, Sep 14, 2011 : 1:15 p.m.

Google was founded by "Progressives" (Liberals) who believe that what what ever they do is alright but everybody else has to follow the rules! They lied, cheated and stole from the State of Michigan under Governor Granholm another Liberal! The City of Ann Arbor is run by Liberals (Progressives), who knows what they are doing to us because they are not very Transparent and most of the so-called "Journalist" are Liberal/progressives also. You get what you Vote For! Think before you Vote in November!


Wed, Sep 14, 2011 : 7:39 p.m.

Please, these types of Economic Development Programs exist in every State in the country and are created by Republicans and Democrats to entice business to locate in their State. It has nothing to do with progressive or conservative viewpoint --- but rather the way businesses adhere to or fail to comply with the agreement.


Wed, Sep 14, 2011 : 6:28 p.m.

to Cash: Why do you call our governer 'Sparky'? Is this his real middle name?


Wed, Sep 14, 2011 : 4:32 p.m.

And what is the State of MICHIGAN going to do about this problem? Seems that the person in charge should do SOMETHING.....Rick Sparky Snyder is in charge. Let him fix this problem!

Ron Granger

Wed, Sep 14, 2011 : 1:54 p.m.

Economic conditions change, and the rate of hiring varies accordingly. Spare us your grand political conspiracies.


Wed, Sep 14, 2011 : 1:05 p.m.

A perfect example of why the entire tax system needs to be reformed. No breaks, no loop holes, and EVERYONE should pay their fair share. I want Google and all corporations to want to do business in Ann Arbor and the entire region, but fairly. This tax break should have been clearly spelled out what sort of proof Google was to provide. If this article is accurate, it appears that Google outsmarted our local government. Surprise! Surprise!


Wed, Sep 14, 2011 : 12:57 p.m.

I wonder if Google's outsourcing is due to factors like healthcare reform. It seems, many large companies are doing everything, but hiring employees. Could it be the fear of what Obamacare will cost them? This is not a post to start an argument, but the questions does have relevance. Michigan's business environment (tax and regulation code) may have nothing to do with this. Consequently, I do hope the state looks into taking back the tax credits.


Thu, Sep 15, 2011 : 1:14 a.m.

you missed gay marriage.


Wed, Sep 14, 2011 : 7:35 p.m.

What bull --- trying to tie their lack of following thru on their commitment to hire to health care reform? Why don't we tie it it Don't ask Don't Tell? Maybe Financial Reform? How about World War II?

Vivienne Armentrout

Wed, Sep 14, 2011 : 12:40 p.m.

Oddly missing from this story is the information about the 400 parking spaces promised to Google by the city. Council formed a special fund to pay for this parking, so Google was given two of our scarce resources, namely, parking spaces and general fund money, to establish this office. I told the story in my blog post from a couple of years ago, <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Wed, Sep 14, 2011 : 12:14 p.m.

Remember all the breaks granted to Pfizer? And they did what? Same ol, same ol. Throw money at businesses and this is what they do. They don't care about the workers, the tax payers, the community - just their welfare and will drop us the minute they get even a remotely better deal from the next sucker. Just like those sport team owners who move their teams at the drop of a hat (except for the 'socialist' Green Bay Packers who the community owns). 'You won't build me a huge half a billion dollar stadium with tax money and give me all the revenue?' - I'm gone. That's Google. Are all those parking spaces still theirs? And the secrecy about the number of jobs -- just like SPARK; you aren't allowed to know. Even if it's your tax money funding the thing.


Wed, Sep 14, 2011 : 6:39 p.m.

I almost think Pfizer was worse, because they had an industry reputation of doing just what they did (setting up shop or aquiring a site, pillaging all the technology and then leaving town altogether) no one closed the loophole on them when they came to town! The best predictor of future behavior is their most recent history!

Bob Martel

Wed, Sep 14, 2011 : 12:04 p.m.

This is simply an example where tax incentives appear not to have been sufficient to induce a company to hire employees according to a plan that it later determined, due to business reasons I would imagine, were not needed. This is also a good example of why getting rid of targeted tax incentives in favor of a business tax system that does not create a &quot;favored class&quot; is a good idea. Note that I am not endorsing the lowering of business taxes on the backs of low and middle income taxpayers as has been done in this case. I am only endorsing the end of discrimination in businesses taxes in favor of new companies or those with special clout in lieu of established and less politically powerful companies. Now, before people go off and make all sorts of wild accusations about Google ripping off the taxpayer, please read the article more carefully. Google is not obligated to hire the number of employees or pay the wages it put in its application. However, there appears to be an annual review process at the State level at which time the State reviews the facts and either awards the grant for that year or does not. From the article it appears that the 2009 determination has not yet been made (which seems kind of tardy to me) but if the system works as implied in the article, Google will not receive the tax breaks for any years in which it has not met the criteria. So what is likely to happen here is that the $38 million tax break that was announced with great fanfare and controversy may never materialize. I'll leave it up to Nathan Borney @ to confirm my understanding of the annual review and tax grant award process.


Wed, Sep 14, 2011 : 12:25 p.m.

I read and understand this program the same way.

Roy Munson

Wed, Sep 14, 2011 : 12:01 p.m.

Nice article. Way to expose these crooks. We need more articles like this one.


Wed, Sep 14, 2011 : 12:24 p.m.

I'm sorry, what did Google steal? They made a goal, however failed miserably to meet it. They are no longer getting the credit because they have failed to show they have meet the goals or milestones to the goal. (ok, I'm assuming the 2009 pending credit will get denied - it's already nearly 2 years old anyway) .


Wed, Sep 14, 2011 : 11:51 a.m.

Ah, come on Google! You can be better than this. Do the right thing and hire more MICHIGAN/US workers. Do no evil, remember your promise? Michigan workers will probably work for peanuts just as long as we get a job. Help us out here, will ya?


Wed, Sep 14, 2011 : 5:52 p.m.

Actually, they are hiring Michigan/US workers, just through GenTech. I know someone who works there.

Silly Head

Wed, Sep 14, 2011 : 11:45 a.m.

Imagine... I promise to stay in Michigan and bestow my vast, high-level skill set on a local company, ensuring their sustainability in Michigan in exchange for a personal income tax abatement/credit.

Silly Head

Wed, Sep 14, 2011 : 12:43 p.m.

@sellers Yes, theory is always &quot;interesting&quot;.


Wed, Sep 14, 2011 : 12:22 p.m.

That is interesting, but how could you directly improve the job/employment/income of your peers? Remember, that is what the tax credit was trying to do?


Wed, Sep 14, 2011 : 11:40 a.m.

come one. this is what big business does. just like the government. make a promise and then not do it. when we give deals on tax brakes. we should have a system that lets us follow them to see if they are doing it. example we gave the banks money. no controls. we gave the auto money. but we had controls on them. it is the same old stuff give give and give more. wait until snyder big business plan gives us jobs like google is doing. sure we will get them just a joke.


Wed, Sep 14, 2011 : 11:21 a.m.

Although it was the democrats voting in the republican primary we have to thank for Snyder being in office today they are pretty quick to turn on him. Can we try and recall our former governor, the mole, showing up for the Google photo opportunities and now we find out her administration wrote the tax code non-binding. Wonderful. How is that Snyder's fault? Remember this when you line up to get your books signed in a couple weeks.


Wed, Sep 14, 2011 : 1:11 p.m.

&quot; we find out her administration wrote the tax code non-binding. &quot; Did you read the article? &quot;MEGA tax recipients only receive tax relief if they can prove they hired employees at the rate they originally promised.&quot; Seems like they qualify if they do what they say they will do, and DO NOT qualify iif they don't. Seems simple to me.


Wed, Sep 14, 2011 : 11:43 a.m.

do you not think republicans voted in the primary for democrats. this is normal. just playing games with our government. you wounder why we are so mess up. guess why?


Wed, Sep 14, 2011 : 11:34 a.m.

How pathetic. Snyder is such a loser that you republicans are blaming democrats for your nomination of him.


Wed, Sep 14, 2011 : 11:20 a.m.

My question is: &quot;How can Michigan Economic Development Corp.'s Michigan Economic Growth Authority (MEGA) board grant a $38.25 million tax credit with out requiring Google to reveal the exact number of workers it employs in Ann Arbor?&quot; This is the type of job many state employees do for the rest of us. The general public gets screwed whlie they (Michigan Economic Development Corp.'s Michigan Economic Growth Authority (MEGA) board) keep there jobs and benifits.

Trevor Staples

Wed, Sep 14, 2011 : 11:12 a.m.

While public schools funding is slashed and the politicians demand &quot;results&quot;, corporations continue to get billions in tax breaks based on promises. Maybe we need a standardized test to assess whether a publicly funded business has created the jobs it said it would. If it fails the test, the public funding gets cut.


Wed, Sep 14, 2011 : 2:17 p.m.

They would just claim it's another step towards &quot;socialism&quot; by implementing standardized tests


Wed, Sep 14, 2011 : 12:21 p.m.

Remember, 2008 was the last year they were granted the break, nothing in 2009 or 2010 (yet). So they didn't meet their goals, so they are getting a not-meets grade and will get no bonus. Effectively, the system worked. Sure, failed promise, but no raise/bonus either. They still do employe 200+ people.


Wed, Sep 14, 2011 : 11:05 a.m.

At least the taxpayers are getting ripped off by a higher class corporation now. This is a case for SPARKy Snyder. The rich get richer, the poor get poorer. Michigan going right down the drain.


Wed, Sep 14, 2011 : 6:03 p.m.

cash - do you wish for the rich to get poorer? What happens then?


Wed, Sep 14, 2011 : 4:29 p.m.

Because they are outsourcing hiring instead of local hiring. Taxpayers are


Wed, Sep 14, 2011 : 1:09 p.m.

How is the taxpayer gettiing ripped off? &quot;However, MEGA tax recipients only receive tax relief if they can prove they hired employees at the rate they originally promised. Companies can hire workers who don't qualify the company for the tax credit and simply choose not to claim the tax credit.&quot;


Wed, Sep 14, 2011 : 12:38 p.m.

Thank you for clearifying.


Wed, Sep 14, 2011 : 11:49 a.m.

Gorc, Did you read my post? I didn't BLAME him I said it &quot;is a case for&quot; him.....something he needs to fix! Will he resolve it or will he let the rich get richer? Time will tell.


Wed, Sep 14, 2011 : 11:24 a.m.

Did you read the same article I did? How can you blame Gov. Snyder for the MEGA tax was in place before he became the governor. The article actually indicated that Gov. Snyder &quot;sought its demise&quot;.


Wed, Sep 14, 2011 : 10:55 a.m.

What the Great Slick Hope has given into the Great Cheap Slave wagers?? Noooo ............ tell me it ain't so Joe! Up Michigan! Up America!


Wed, Sep 14, 2011 : 10:35 a.m.

Google should not be granted the break for 2009, and the state needs to file to recover the 2008 credit.