Google's personnel shake-up: money talks, but AI walks

Joanna Gao, Taipei; Jerry Chen, DIGITIMES Asia 0

Credit: AFP

Google's latest wave of staff cuts is reportedly primarily focused on the finance team

While the exact number of layoffs has not been disclosed, Google clarifies that this is not a company-wide downsizing. As previously stated, the company will continue prioritizing investment in AI.

AI in, money man out

According to CNBC, Google's Chief Financial Officer, Ruth Porat, wrote in a memo to the finance team on April 17th, stating that the tech industry is currently undergoing a digital transition towards AI. In this process, Google can seize opportunities to provide better services to thousands of customers.

However, Google also claims it faces tough decisions on how and where to operate to align with its goals. The finance teams affected by the layoffs are primarily located in the Asia-Pacific region and Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA).

The memo also notes that some locations will become more centralized. Over the past year, Google has been considering how to restructure "Fin'oogler," the term for the work designation of finance personnel, to enhance operational efficiency and enable 24-hour operations.

The memo indicates that Bangalore in India, Mexico City in Mexico, Dublin in Ireland, as well as Chicago and Atlanta in the United States, will become important finance hubs for Google. Additionally, Google will maintain a significant presence in the San Francisco Bay Area in the United States.


Amidst a slowdown in the digital advertising market, Google is restructuring its organizational framework and investing more resources in AI. In January, Google also announced staff cuts affecting engineering, hardware, and employees involved in smart voice assistant-related work.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai hinted at further layoffs in 2024. A Google spokesperson stated that since the second half of 2023, the teams have undergone many changes to improve operational efficiency, streamline hierarchies, and ensure that resources are aligned with key objectives.