Google to Cut Marketing Budget in Half, Warns of Hiring Freeze

Google CEO Sundar Pichai testifies
Alex Wong/ Getty

Tech giant Google is reportedly set to cut its marketing budget by as much as half, while directors at the firm have been warned that hiring freezes for both full-time and contract workers are taking place.

CNBC reports that tech giant Google is slashing its marketing budgets by as much as half for the second half of 2020 according to internal materials viewed by CNBC. One email that was sent to marketing employees this week notes budget cuts and hiring freezes for full-time and contract employees.

One message from a global director sent to employees this week states: “There are budget cuts and hiring freezes happening across marketing and across Google. We, along with the rest of marketing, have been asked to cut our budget by about half for H2.” H2 refers to the second half of the year.

A company spokesperson stated that some division’s budgets are being cut by as much as half but others may not be since the company is still “recalibrating.” The spokesperson stated: “As we outlined last week, we are re-evaluating the pace of our investment plans for the remainder of 2020 and will focus on a select number of important marketing efforts. We continue to have a robust marketing budget, particularly in digital, in many business areas.”

Google shares dropped by nearly 2 percent in after-hours trading following the news. In a note to employees last week, Google CEO Sundar Pichai outlined some of Google’s business changes during the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic stating: “Beyond hiring, we continue to invest, but will be recalibrating the focus and pace of our investments in areas like data centers and machines, and non business essential marketing and travel.”

The Google spokesperson that spoke with CNBC stated that a widespread hiring freeze was not implemented, stating: “We’ll be slowing down the pace of hiring, while maintaining momentum in a small number of strategic areas, and onboarding the many people who’ve been hired but haven’t started yet.”

In the note to employees last week, CEO Sundar Pichai stated: “Just like the 2008 financial crisis, the entire global economy is hurting, and Google and Alphabet are not immune to the effects of this global pandemic. We exist in an ecosystem of partnerships and interconnected businesses, many of whom are feeling significant pain.”

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address lucasnolan@protonmail.com

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