Intuit CEO continues to 'bet company on AI and data'

AI For Business

Good morning. Big tech companies are realigning their workforces for the age of artificial intelligence. This includes Google, which notified employees in April that it was restructuring its finance team to reallocate resources toward AI. The latest example is software giant Intuit.

Yesterday, the Fortune 500 company known for products like QuickBooks, Credit Karma, and TurboTax reported that it would be laying off around 1,800 employees worldwide, equating to 10% of its workforce, including executives. CEO Sasan Goudarji announced the “very difficult decision that I and my leadership team have made” in an email to employees.

Goudarji wrote that Intuit's transformation journey, which includes parting ways with 1,800 employees, is part of a strategy to increase investment in priority focus areas. These areas include AI and generative AI, like Intuit Assist, a financial assistant powered by GenAI, while Intuit is reimagining its products from traditional workflows to AI-native experiences. The strategy also focuses on money movement, expanding into the mid-market for small and medium-sized businesses, and international growth.

“We do not make job cuts to cut costs, and this does not change that,” Goodarzi wrote. Intuit plans to hire about 1,800 new employees, primarily for strategic functional skills in engineering, product and customer-facing roles such as sales, customer success and marketing, and expects its overall employee base to grow in fiscal 2025, which begins Aug. 1.

The company said 1,050 of the employees leaving Intuit did not meet expectations based on a formal performance management process, and it is also reducing the number of executives, including directors, SVPs and EVPs, by about 10% and expanding executive roles and responsibilities.

All departing U.S. employees will receive a minimum of 16 weeks' pay, plus two weeks' pay for each year of service, and will have 60 days to quit, with the final day being September 9. Employees outside the U.S. will receive similar support, the company said.

Intuit is expected to report revenue of $14.4 billion in fiscal 2023, climbing 24 spots in the Fortune 500. For the period ending April 30, Intuit reported revenue of $6.7 billion, up 12%.

According to McKinsey, AI is beginning to fundamentally change business. Interest in generative AI is growing, drawing attention to a broader set of AI capabilities in organizations. The firm's recently released global survey showed that AI adoption rose to 72% this year. Over the past six years, AI adoption rates by respondents' organizations have remained at about 50%. Half of respondents said their companies are implementing AI in two or more business functions, up from less than a third of respondents who said the same in 2023.

In September, my luck My colleague Jeff Colvin reported on Intuit's major strategic realignment that puts AI at the center of its business. Colvin wrote, “Intuit has a long lead in AI over competitors like H&R Block, Cash App, TaxSlayer, Xero, and FreshBooks. The company is hoping that its early investments will create a network effect, where better AI-generated recommendations will attract more customers, which will bring in more data, improving the company's products and attracting more customers.”

Goodarzi told Colvin of his goals since becoming CEO in 2019. “The decision I made was to bet the company, as a team, on data and AI.”

Cheryl Estrada

Leader board

Monish Patrawalla Patrawalla was named EVP and CFO of ADM (NYSE: ADM) effective August 1, succeeding Ismael Roig, who had served as ADM's interim CFO since January. ADM's CFO, Bikram Luther, resigned amid an investigation into accounting matters. Patrawalla brings more than 25 years of experience to ADM. He most recently served as president and CFO of 3M. Prior to 3M, he spent more than 20 years at GE in a variety of finance roles, including CFO of GE Healthcare and head of operational transformation across GE.

Gordon Brooks Brooks was named interim CFO of Eli Lilly (NYSE: LLY) on July 15, according to an SEC filing. Brooks currently serves as Lilly's group vice president, controller and corporate strategy. Anat Ashkenazi stepped down as Lilly's CFO and EVP in June to join Alphabet Inc. as CFO. Brooks has worked at Lilly for nearly 30 years, serving in several divisional CFO roles.

Big Deal

Grant Thornton released its Q2 2024 CFO survey, revealing that 58% of CFOs surveyed are optimistic about the U.S. economy. Another key finding is that CFOs continue to prioritize AI and technology.

According to Grant Thornton, the percentage of CFOs using or exploring potential uses of generative AI rose to a record high of 94% in the Q2 survey compared to the previous quarter. Of CFOs using generative AI, 74% said they were applying it to data analytics and business intelligence in Q2, compared to 66% in Q1. Additionally, 63% of CFOs said they were deploying generative AI to help with cybersecurity and risk management in Q2, up from 47% in the previous quarter.

“The business environment is ripe for growth, but CFOs must control costs to take advantage of it,” Paul Melville, national managing principal of Grant Thornton's CFO advisory practice, said in a statement.

The findings are based on a survey of more than 225 senior finance leaders.

Courtesy of Grant Thornton

Going deeper

Talent strategy trends: Top concerns and key drivers driving investment decisionsA new report by global consulting firm RGP, “Finance Decision Makers in Driving Digital Transformation,” focuses on the top concerns and challenges of finance decision makers. Key findings include: 81% of finance decision makers surveyed plan to increase investment in workforce development this year. Additionally, 80% say their organization is currently investing in one or more digital transformation initiatives.

The data is based on a survey of 213 CFOs and finance leaders at director level or above from U.S. companies with revenues between $50 million and more than $500 million.

Stories I've heard

“The future of AI is not set in stone. It's something we're shaping.”

— Steve Hasker, CEO of Thomson Reuters, writes: luck Opinion piece, “Knowledge workers don't seem to think AI will replace them, but they expect to save four hours a week next year.”

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