Google said on Tuesday that it would postpone the annual Cloud Next conference due to concerns about the effects of the new coronavirus epidemic, although the company announced earlier this month that it would move to a fully digital form.
The search giant said it is still working on the event but said it will be held "at the right time." The conference was originally scheduled to be held from April 6 to 8 and consisted mainly of satellite and live broadcast events.
Alison Wagonfeld, Chief Marketing Officer of Google Cloud, said in a blog post:
Google Cloud has decided to postpone Google Cloud Next '20: Digital Connect out of concern for the health and safety of our customers, partners, employees and local communities, and based on recent decisions made by the federal and local governments regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19).
Right now, the most important thing we can do is focus our attention on supporting our customers, partners, and each other.
Please know that we are fully committed to bringing Google Cloud Next '20: Digital Connect to life, but will hold the event when the timing is right. We will share the new date when we have a better sense of the evolving situation.
At Google, leading with innovation and helpfulness is core to our mission. We’ll continue to do everything we can to help our communities stay safe, informed, and connected.
Currently, US government, business and community leaders have stepped up efforts to stop the virus. American schools are closed, sporting events are cancelled, and most public gatherings are banned.
In the San Francisco Bay Area, where Google headquarters is located, the local government announced a local asylum policy on Monday that will last at least until April 7.
Google also canceled its annual developer conference I/O face-to-face event, the company's biggest event of the year.
Previously, as the new coronavirus epidemic continued to spread, Alphabet, the parent company of Google, advised all employees in North America, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East to work from home. The company has required North American employees to work from home until April 10. On Wednesday, a Google spokesperson confirmed that starting March 12, employees in other regions will work remotely until further notice.
Last week, Chris Rackow, Google's vice president of global security, said: "Because of extreme caution, to protect Alphabet and the wider community, if your job permits, we now recommend that you work from home."
According to Alphabet's 2019 annual report, Alphabet has nearly 120,000 full-time employees worldwide, but it does not break down the number of employees in each region.