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Google to expand Dublin headquarters as ‘hub’ for global finance team

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The memo from Ruth Porat, which revealed there will be lay-offs and relocations and which was sent to employees in Google’s finance division, was obtained by CNBC, the American business news channel.

It indicated that as the social-media platform reorganises its operations in response to AI, Ireland will be one of a small number of “growth hubs”, along with India and Mexico, to which jobs will be relocated.

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“The tech sector is in the midst of a tremendous platform shift with Al,” Ms Porat, the chief financial officer for Alphabet, said in the memo. “As a company, this means we have the opportunity to make more helpful products for billions of users and provide faster solutions to our customers, but it also means we collectively have to make tough decisions, including how and where we work to align with our highest priority areas.”

Ms Porat indicated that Alphabet, Google’s parent company, would create “hubs” for more centralised operations, including in Atlanta and Chicago, as well as Bangalore, Mexico city and Dublin.

“Over the past year, we have talked about creating hubs of [finance employees] around the world that are vibrant and have a strong culture,” she said. “This strategy will help us be a more efficient organisation and enable us to run 24 hours a day while respecting [employees’] work times.”

The chief financial officer ended the memo by saying: “We are sad to say goodbye to some talented teammates and friends we care about, and we know this change is difficult.”

Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Alphabet, told employees last January that more job cuts were likely in 2024, as the company reassigns resources to allow more investment in AI technology and because the growth in advertising revenue has stalled.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Last year Google cut about 12,000 jobs globally, with the areas most affected including engineering and hardware. About 200 of the job losses were in Ireland, where roles in sales and technology were also affected. The company employs about 5,000 people here.

David Sneddon, the vice president of Google based in Dublin, has described the job cuts in Ireland as “minimal” and said the company expected that would continue to be the case.

A spokeswoman for Google Ireland said: “We’re responsibly investing in our company’s biggest priorities and the significant opportunities ahead. To best position us for these opportunities, throughout the second half of 2023 and into 2024, a number of our teams made changes to become more efficient and work better, remove layers and align their resources to their biggest product priorities.

“Through this, we’re simplifying our structures to give employees more opportunity to work on our most innovative and important advances and our biggest company priorities, while reducing bureaucracy and layers.”

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