Matt Brittin

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Matt Brittin
Matt Brittin (7125480825).jpg
Brittin in 2012, portrait by Jarle Naustvik
Matthew John Brittin

(1968-09-01) 1 September 1968 (age 51)[1]
Alma mater
WebsiteMatt Brittin on Twitter

Matthew John Brittin (born 1 September 1968)[1] is a British businessman, President of EMEA Business & Operations for Google.[2][3][4][5][6] Since 2007, he is lead spokesperson for Google on its announcements in Europe about digital skills[7], as well as on issues such as controversial content[8] and corporation tax.[9]

Early life[edit]

Brittin was born in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey. He was educated at Hampton School and Robinson College, Cambridge where he received a bachelor's degree in 1989. He later received an MBA from London Business School with distinction in 1997.[1]


After graduating from Cambridge, Brittin worked for more than six years at Connell Wilson, a chartered surveyors firm, and became its associate director. Shortly after completing his MBA, he joined McKinsey & Co as a consultant.[10] In 2004 he became commercial director at Trinity Mirror, owner of The Daily Mirror. Two years later he was promoted to director of strategy and digital.[10]

Brittin joined Google in January 2007, becoming managing director of Google UK in 2009, taking over from Dennis Woodside.[11] In September 2011 he became Google's vice-president for Northern and Central Europe. In December 2014, Google reorganized its structure in Europe and consolidated its European divisions under Brittin's management as president of EMEA Business and Operations.

Brittin sits on the boards of The Climate Group (since 2009), Media Trust (since 2010) and is a non-executive director at Sainsbury's.[10]

Public Accounts Committee[edit]

Brittin was first called before the UK Public Accounts Committee on 12 November 2012 to explain how Google had generated billions of pounds of profit from its UK operations but paid almost no corporation tax.[12] On 16 May 2013 Margaret Hodge MP, the chair of the committee accused Google's UK division (managed by Brittin) of being "calculated and unethical" over its use of highly contrived and artificial distinctions to avoid paying billions of pounds in corporation tax owed by its UK operations.[12] Brittin and Google were accused by the committee, of being "evil" for not paying its "fair amount of tax".[9]

Brittin was called repeatedly to the committee, and claimed that Google does not "sell" in the UK, even though UK staff are paid incentives to "encourage" potential customers to spend money with Google. Reports from former staff contradicted his statements.[13] He did not clarify his definition of "selling", but he "... admitted ’sales’ staff based in Britain are paid commission for reaching targets, further contradicting his statement. It was also revealed that Google often advertised UK-based 'sales' jobs."[14]

In 2015, the UK Government introduced a new law intended to penalise Google and other large multinational corporations' artificial tax avoidance.[15]

On 11 February 2016, in response to the committee asking how much he earned, Brittin claimed he did not know how much he was paid, a response that was widely ridiculed.[16][17][18] Google are not legally obliged to tell even their shareholders what his salary is[19] but UK daily newspaper The Guardian estimated it at £137 million a year.[19]

Personal life[edit]

He married Katherine Betts in 1995 and has two sons (born in 1999 and 2001).[20] In June 2011 he cycled from Land's End to John o' Groats. Brittin rowed in The Boat Race three times, from 1987 to 1989, representing the University of Cambridge. He rowed for Great Britain from 1985 to 1989, winning a bronze medal at the World Rowing Championships in 1989.[21]


  1. ^ a b c d "BRITTIN, Matthew John". Who's Who. 2014 (online Oxford University Press ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. (subscription or UK public library membership required) (subscription required)
  2. ^ Barnett, Emma (5 July 2010). "Google UK chief: Facebook is not the only successful social network". Daily Telegraph. London.
  3. ^ Matt Brittin on Twitter
  4. ^ Former Trinity Mirror executive Matt Brittin to run Google's UK operation , The Guardian, 18 March 2009
  5. ^ "Matt Brittin | LinkedIn". Retrieved 12 February 2016.[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ Ahmed, Murad (25 February 2015). "Last updated: February 25, 2015 8:03 pm Google shakes up European units in face of tougher rules". Financial Times. London.
  7. ^ "Google's New Growth Promise: Digital Skills Training for Two Million". Politico. 3 March 2016. Retrieved 21 February 2017.
  8. ^ "Google Europe head apologizes for ads appearing next to extreme content on YouTube". CNBC. 20 March 2017. Retrieved 20 March 2017.
  9. ^ a b "A highly taxing session with the public accounts committee | Simon Hoggart's sketch | Politics". The Guardian. 13 March 2014. Retrieved 12 February 2016.
  10. ^ a b c "Everything you need to know about Google's EMEA president Matt Brittin". Business Insider. Retrieved 12 February 2016.
  11. ^ Ramsey, Fiona (18 March 2009). "Matt Brittin takes up top Google UK role as Dennis Woodside moves to US". Brand Republic. Retrieved 29 January 2015.
  12. ^ a b Simon Bowers; Rajeev Syal. "MP on Google tax avoidance scheme: 'I think that you do evil' | Technology". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 February 2016.
  13. ^ Williams, Christopher (1 May 2013). "Google faces fresh grilling by MPs over tax". Telegraph. Retrieved 12 February 2016.
  14. ^ Latham, Cheryl (16 May 2013). "Google boss denies lying during heated session with MPs over tax affairs". Metro. Retrieved 21 August 2014.
  15. ^ "Budget 2015: 'Google Tax' introduction confirmed". BBC News. Retrieved 12 February 2016.
  16. ^ Riley, Ben. "Video: Google boss admits he does not know his own salary as MPs grill executives". Telegraph. Retrieved 12 February 2016.
  17. ^ Rajeev Syal (1 January 1970). "Google boss claims he does not know his salary in Commons grilling | Technology". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 February 2016.
  18. ^ Jon Stone. "Google tax avoidance: European president tells MPs he doesn't know how much he's paid | UK Politics | News". The Independent. Retrieved 12 February 2016.
  19. ^ a b Crace, John (11 February 2016). "Your search – 'Google Europe boss's salary' – returned no results" – via
  20. ^ Cusick, James (19 May 2013). "Google boss Eric Schmidt may snub David Cameron over company's House of Commons grilling". The Independent. Retrieved 22 March 2016.
  21. ^ Matt Brittin at FISA
Business positions
Preceded by
Managing Director of Google UK
2009 – 2011
Succeeded by

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