JP Morgan just hired a top Google executive in a big bet on artificial intelligence

  • J.P. Morgan poached a senior executive from Google amid a war for talent among corporations seeking to create the next generation of artificial intelligence-powered services.
  • Tech giants such as Google's Alphabet and Facebook, Silicon Valley startups, and a swath of industrial and financial firms are all vying for a small group of proven AI experts who can help create an automated future.
People inside the offices of JP Morgan Chase in New York City.
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People inside the offices of JP Morgan Chase in New York City.

J.P. Morgan Chase poached a senior executive from Google amid a war for talent among corporations seeking to create the next generation of artificial intelligence-powered services.

The bank hired Apoorv Saxena, Google's head of product management for cloud-based artificial intelligence, according to a memo obtained exclusively by CNBC. Saxena will be joining the firm on Aug. 31 as head of artificial intelligence and machine-learning services. He will also be head of asset and wealth management artificial intelligence technology. He will be based in Palo Alto, California.

Tech giants such as Google's Alphabet and Facebook, Silicon Valley startups, and a swath of industrial and financial firms are all vying for a small group of proven AI experts who can help create an automated future. That means the market for specialists in the technology has never been hotter, resulting in compensation that reaches into the millions of dollars in some cases.

In a push to prevent fintech firms and established tech giants from luring their customers, banks are increasingly looking outside finance for managers in technologies from machine learning to blockchain. About one-third of J.P. Morgan's recent senior hires are from outside the industry, according to the lender.

In May, the bank hired Manuela Veloso, head of the machine-learning department at Carnegie Mellon University, to help identify opportunities that "could potentially transform financial services," according to a memo sent at the time.

As a result of the advent of artificial intelligence and related technologies, the next few years are likely to feature more innovation and upheaval than previous eras.

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