Alphabet CEO tells employees the company will slow hiring and other investments

Key Points
  • Google CEO Sundar Pichai told workers Wednesday that the company is re-evaluating investments for the remainder of 2020, starting with hiring.
  • Management also said it is having a hard time on-boarding new hires remotely.

In this article

Sundar Pichai, chief executive officer of Google Inc., attends a news conference in New Delhi, India, on Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2017.
Bloomberg | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Alphabet, the parent company of Google, is pulling back on some of its investments for the rest of the year amid the Covid-19 crisis and it's starting with hiring.

"We believe now is the time to significantly slow down the pace of hiring, while maintaining momentum in a small number of strategic areas where users and businesses rely on Google for ongoing support, and where our growth is critical to their success," CEO Sundar Pichai told workers this week in a memo first reported by Bloomberg.

"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."

A spokesperson confirmed the slowdown and contents of the memo. "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," the company said in a statement to CNBC.

Pichai noted that the company added 20,000 employees in 2019 and had planned to do the same this year. So far, it has on-boarded 4,000 new employees and a thousand more are scheduled to onboard soon, the memo stated.

The announcement comes as the company faces economic headwinds caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, which has effected the global economy. CNBC found Wednesday that the company started pulling back on skills training resources for the contractors and temporary workers that make up nearly half of its workforce. The move also comes as the company tries to motivate its workforce to stay focused on customer needs amid shelter-in-place orders triggered by the pandemic.

"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," Pichai stated in the memo. "We exist in an ecosystem of partnerships and interconnected businesses, many of whom are feeling significant pain."

New Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai may have most difficult job in Silicon Valley