Gail HeimannGail Heimann

Weber Shandwick has cut and furloughed staff to counter client cutbacks across various sectors, according to an internal memo from CEO Gail Heimann.

Though Weber Shandwick took early action to address the COVID-19 crisis (e.g., cutting executive pay, issuing a hiring freeze and slashing expenses) many companies "are putting plans for new assignments and agency searches on hold," said Heimann

She said of the layoffs: "It is something I hoped I would not have to do; it is a wrenchingly hard decision to make. And I know it is indescribably hard for those to whom we are saying good-bye."

Heimann said her duty, as CEO is to "protect our business—to do everything we can to ensure stability this year and put our firm in a position to thrive and grow in years to come."

Interpublic owns Weber Shandwick.