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Lilly CFO leaves to join Alphabet

Dive Brief:

  • Anat Ashkenazi will leave Eli Lilly’s executive suite at the end of July to become CFO and senior vice president of Google and Alphabet, the companies said Wednesday.
  • Ashkenazi has been CFO at Lilly since 2021 and originally joined the company in 2001. Over her 23-year career at the Indianapolis-based drugmaker, Ashkenazi also served as controller, CFO of Lilly Research Laboratories and as the finance chief for several global divisions within the company.
  • Ashkenazi will take over the CFO job at Alphabet and Google from Ruth Porat, who added the new roles of president and chief investment officer in September. Porat will continue to serve as CFO until Ashkenazi starts on July 31 and will oversee Alphabet’s second quarter earnings.

Dive Insight:

In making the jump to Alphabet, Ashkenazi is joining one of the few companies larger than Lilly by market value, as the drugmaker’s worth has swelled substantially due to the success of its obesity and diabetes medicines.

But Alphabet brings in significantly more revenue and profit than does Lilly. In the first quarter, Alphabet reported net income of $23.7 billion on revenue of more than $80 billion. Lilly reported net income of $2.2 billion on revenue of about $8.8 billion over the same period.

Google and Alphabet are getting a CFO with a record of “long-term investment to fuel innovation and growth” as the companies navigate the rapid evolution of artificial intelligence, CEO Sundar Pichai said. “I look forward to working with Anat as we invest responsibly to support our next wave of growth,” Pichai said in a statement.

For Lilly, Ashkenazi’s departure adds to a fair bit of turnover in the company’s top leadership. Over the past nine months, the drugmaker has announced the retirement of key executives including the head of its diabetes division, its treasurer, its chief ethics and compliance officer and its executive vice president of global quality.

Lilly said it’s conducting an internal and external search for a new CFO. Ashkenazi will continue to serve on the executive committee as well as maintain her role of CFO through July, Lilly said.

Ashkenazi holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and business administration from Hebrew University and earned her MBA from Tel Aviv University. She will be based in the Bay Area.