Goldman hires Google exec to co-head applied innovation unit

The ticker symbol and logo for Goldman Sachs is displayed on a screen on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., December 18, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

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NEW YORK, July 12 (Reuters) – Goldman Sachs has hired Jared Cohen, who founded technology incubator Jigsaw at Google, to co-head its newly created applied innovation unit, an internal memo showed, as the Wall Street powerhouse invests in technology expertise.

Cohen, who also served as advisor to Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt in the past, will co-head the new Goldman unit with George Lee, the memo said, whose contents were confirmed by the bank’s spokesperson.

“The Office of Applied Innovation will harness the innovative and entrepreneurial capacity of our people and connect their ideas with our global network of relationships as we continue to invest in our businesses and create new ventures,” CEO David Solomon said in the memo.

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U.S. banks are doubling down on technology, hiring staff from data scientists to machine learning engineers, to compete against the growing threat from financial technology firms.

Goldman has also backed artificial intelligence startups, recently leading a funding round for, an artificial intelligence and automatic machine learning firm that secured $72.5 million from investors.

Cohen will also serve as president of Global Affairs. Cohen is also an adjunct senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.

The note said Lee will continue to serve in his role as co-chief information officer until Oct. 1, and will then move to the office of applied innovation.

At that time, Marco Argenti will become sole chief information officer, the memo said. Argenti joined Goldman from Amazon Web Services in 2019, his Linkedin profile showed.

CNBC earlier reported the hiring.

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Reporting by Saeed Azhar; editing by David Evans

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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