Matt Brittin

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Matt Brittin
Matt Brittin (7125480825).jpg
Brittin in 2012, portrait by Jarle Naustvik
Born Matthew John Brittin
(1968-09-01) 1 September 1968 (age 47)[1]
Alma mater

Matthew John Brittin (born 1 September 1968)[1][2] is a business manager, former director of strategy and digital at Trinity Mirror and current President of EMEA Business & Operations for Google.[3][4][5][6][7]

He came to public attention in November 2012 when he was appeared before the United Kingdom Public Accounts Committee to explain Google's use of contrived and artificial distinctions to avoid paying billions of pounds in Corporation tax.[8] In a widely publicised hearing, Brittin made a number of potentially false statements, was warned against lying to the committee, accused of behaving in a "calculated and unethical"[9] manner and told by the chairman of the committee "I think that you do evil".[8]

Early life and Education[edit]

Brittin was born in Walton-on-Thames, north-west Surrey. He was educated at Hampton School and Robinson College, Cambridge where he was awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1989. He was awarded a Master of Business Administration (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. After completing his MBA, he joined McKinsey & Co as a consultant shortly afterwards.[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]

Appearances at the Public Accounts Committee[edit]

Brittin was first called before the United Kingdom Public Accounts Committee on 12 November 2012 to explain how Google had generated billions of pounds of profit from its UK operations but paid nearly no Corporation tax.[12] On 16 May 2013 Margaret Hodge MP, the chair of the United Kingdom Public Accounts 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, which represents the interests of all UK taxpayers, of being "evil" for not paying its "fair amount of tax".[8]

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 Google 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's artificial tax avoidance.[15]

Personal life[edit]

He married Katherine Betts in 1995 and has two sons (born in 1999 and 2001). 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 1988. He also represented Great Britain in rowing at the 1988 Seoul Olympics.[16]


  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 required)
  2. ^ Debrett's
  3. ^ Barnett, Emma (5 July 2010). "Google UK chief: Facebook is not the only successful social network". Daily Telegraph (London). 
  4. ^ Matt Brittin on Twitter
  5. ^ Former Trinity Mirror executive Matt Brittin to run Google's UK operation , The Guardian, 2009-03-18
  6. ^
  7. ^ 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). 
  8. ^ a b c
  9. ^
  10. ^ a b c
  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
  13. ^
  14. ^ Latham, Cheryl (16 May 2013). "Google boss denies lying during heated session with MPs over tax affairs". Metro. Retrieved 21 August 2014. 
  15. ^
  16. ^ Sweney, Mark (18 March 2009). "Matt Brittin to run Google UK". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 July 2012. 
Business positions
Preceded by
Managing Director of Google UK
2009 – 2011
Succeeded by