Google parent Alphabet taps Eli Lilly's Anat Ashkenazi as new CFO


Google parent Alphabet has poached Anat Ashkenazi from pharmaceutical firm Eli Lilly to serve as its next chief financial officer, the company announced Wednesday.

Ashkenazi, 51, will take over the key role effective July 31 and replace Alphabet’s longtime CFO Ruth Porat.

The Big Tech giant had announced nearly one year ago that Porat, 66, would be transitioning to a new role as the company’s president and chief investment officer.

“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,” Google CEO Sundar Pichai said in a statement.

Anat Ashkenazi served as CFO of Eli Lilly. Eli Lilly

Ashkenazi joined Eli Lilly in 2001, where she “had a diverse career spanning financial, strategy and operations roles” over 23 years, Google said in an SEC filing.

Eli Lilly confirmed her departure and said it was conducting an internal and external search to replace her.

Meanwhile, Porat will remain as Google CFO through the company’s second-quarter earnings in July.

Google shares were up less than 1% in premarket trading.

“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,” Ashkenazi said in a statement.

“Today, the opportunity for impact is greater than ever, and I feel honored to be joining Sundar and his leadership team as they invest for the company’s future at such an exciting moment.”

Ruth Porat is transitioning to a new role as chief investment officer. Getty Images for Fortune

Ashkenazi takes over the C-suite role at a critical time for Google, which is navigating a messy rollout of its AI-powered search engine as it scrambles to keep pace with rivals such as Microsoft-backed OpenAI.

Google said it was “taking swift action” to fix bizarre behavior from its AI Overviews feature, which advised users to eat rocks and add glue to their pizza.

The tech giant is in the midst of an ongoing workforce shakeup this year that has included small rounds of layoffs, including cuts to at least 100 staffers in its cloud unit earlier this week. Google has looked to slash costs while diverting more resources toward AI.

Anat Ashkenazi will take over at a challenging time for Google. REUTERS

The company also faces a series of legal headaches, including landmark Justice Department antitrust cases targeting its online search business and its digital advertising segment.

A federal judge is expected to rule on whether Google has a monopoly over online search later this year.

Elsewhere, Google confirmed that its chief privacy officer, Keith Enright, will be leaving the company this fall.



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