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Google cutting back on hiring in 2020, taking other steps to weather COVID-19

While tech companies are uniquely positioned from a logistics standpoint to continue operating, they are not immune to the broad impacts of the coronavirus. Google today laid out its internal response to COVID-19, including changes in hiring this year.

Bloomberg obtained a memo that CEO Sundar Pichai sent out to Google employees today. He starts by recognizing how much has changed since the company’s first offices in Asia closed over two months ago, and highlights how the company is helping.

We’re only a quarter of the way through 2020, and it’s already been the most unusual year in memory. None of us could have predicted that most of us would now be working from home during the biggest global pandemic of our lifetimes.

The crux of today’s message focuses on steps Google is taking to “[emerge]” in a position to continue long-term growth.” Citing the last global downturn, Pichai believes that “preparing early is key to weathering the storm.”

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.

Google will “significantly slow down the pace of hiring” in 2020. There will be an exception for a “small number of strategic areas,” with the goal of making sure “Google emerges from this year at a more appropriate size and scale than we would otherwise.”

Like last year, the company was on track to hire 20,000 employees. It has already brought on 4,000 Googlers in Q1, with thousands more starting soon. However, remote work has limited the ability to get new employees equipment and training.

Beyond hiring, Google is taking a look at data centers and machine investment amid COVID-19, as well as non business essential marketing and travel.

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Avatar for Abner Li Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: