French energy giant Total SA will immediately cut expenditures, trim returns to shareholders and freeze recruitment as the company combats the ravages of an oil-price rout and a demand-sapping coronavirus pandemic, Chief Executive Patrick Pouyanne told staffers last week in a video message seen by The Wall Street Journal.

The austerity measures at the fourth largest Western oil company will amount to about $5 billion, Mr. Pouyanne said. Total also plans to borrow $4 billion to make up for an expected $9 billion shortfall created…

Read More