Google restructures finance teams amid AI push

Google announces layoffs and relocations in finance, aligning resources with its focus on artificial intelligence

Alphabet's chief financial officer, Ruth Porat, has announced in a memo on Wednesday that Google is restructuring its finance organization, which will include layoffs and relocations, to prioritize investments in artificial intelligence.  

The memo, as reported by CNBC, was addressed to employees in the finance department.   

Porat explained that the tech sector is undergoing a significant shift towards AI. This shift offers Google the chance to develop more helpful products for billions of users and deliver faster solutions to its customers.  

However, it also necessitates tough decisions about how and where the company operates to focus on areas of highest priority.   

This restructuring is part of a broader strategy by Google to realign its workforce and resources as it ramps up investment in new technologies like AI, amidst a slowdown in advertising growth.  

Google's CEO, Sundar Pichai, had previously informed employees in January that more job cuts were expected in 2024, although he did not specify which teams would be impacted.   

The changes will affect finance teams both in the United States and internationally, including regions such as Asia-Pacific, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.  

Porat also mentioned that the company plans to establish “hubs” for more centralized operations in cities like Bengaluru (Bangalore), Mexico City, Dublin, Chicago, and Atlanta, while maintaining a significant presence in the San Francisco Bay Area.   

Porat referred to these hubs as centers of “Fin’ooglers,” a term used for Google finance employees, aiming to foster vibrant cultures and efficient operations across global time zones.   

In her memo, Porat expressed regret over the departures of colleagues due to the restructuring, acknowledging the difficulty of these changes. She reiterated that these adjustments were part of Google's responsible investment in its major priorities and the significant opportunities ahead.   

A Google spokesperson elaborated to CNBC via email that the changes throughout the second half of 2023 and into 2024 are intended to enhance efficiency.  

They aim to improve functionality, reduce organizational layers, and align resources with the company's most important product priorities.