Alphabet has hired an executive from the pharmaceutical industry to replace outgoing CFO Ruth Porat.

Alphabet announced that Anat Ashkenazi, currently Executive VP and Chief Financial Officer at pharmaceutical firm Eli Lilly and Company, will join its management team as CFO and Senior VP of Google and Alphabet, from 31 July 2024.

It comes after one of Silicon Valley’s most prominent female executives, Alphabet’s current CFO Ruth Porat, announced in July 2023 that she would step aside to take charge of Google’s ‘Other Bets’ portfolio.

Image credit: Kai Wenzel/Unsplash

New CFO

Ruth Porat had assumed the role of Alphabet’s CFO in May 2015 and is the company’s longest-serving chief financial officer after joining it from Morgan Stanley.

Anat Ashkenazi has stepped down from her role as CFO at Eli Lilly and Company, a pharmaceutical firm that has grown rapidly thanks to anti-obesity drugs.

Ashkenazi worked at Eli Lilly and Company for over twenty three years, having joined it in 2001. During that time, Ashkenazi helped it become the world’s most valuable drugmaker, which has seen so much demand for weight loss treatments Mounjaro and Zepbound.

Prior to her current position, Anat served in the role of Senior VP, Controller and CFO of Lilly Research Laboratories.

She also held roles as the chief financial officer for a number of global divisions within Eli Lilly, including Oncology, Diabetes, Global Manufacturing & Quality and Research & Development.

Anat holds an MBA from Tel Aviv University and a BA in economics and business administration from the Hebrew University.

Anat will be based in the Bay Area, reporting to Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai.

“We’re very pleased to have found such a strong CFO, with a track record of strategic focus on long-term investment to fuel innovation and growth,” said Sundar Pichai. “The AI era is giving us an incredible opportunity to innovate at scale across our core products, and to create entirely new products and experiences for our users and customers. I look forward to working with Anat as we invest responsibly to support our next wave of growth.”

“Google’s growth and evolution over the last 25 years has been an incredible story, helping billions of people and millions of businesses around the world,” aid Anat Ashkenazi. “Today, the opportunity for impact is greater than ever, and I feel honoured to be joining Sundar and his leadership team as they invest for the company’s future at such an exciting moment.”

Changing times

Eli Lilly and Company confirmed the departure of Anat Ashkenazi “to pursue a career opportunity outside of the pharmaceutical industry.”

“On behalf of our board of directors, leadership team and employees, I would like to thank Anat for her 23 years of outstanding service to our company,” said David A. Ricks, Lilly’s chair and CEO.

“During her last three years as Lilly’s CFO, we have experienced tremendous growth and laid the groundwork to help us reach even more patients with our medicines. I want to personally thank Anat for her partnership, friendship, and leadership of our financial organisation and to wish her well in her new role.”

Ashkenazi joins Alphabet at a time of big changes, with the corporate focus on prioritising the development and investments in generative artificial intelligence.

Meanwhile Google’s internal culture has been under strain of late, with staff protesting heavy cost cutting measures and return to office mandates, despite record profits.

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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