Ruth Porat, CFO of Google and its parent Alphabet, is stepping down from the top finance role but staying on to assume a newly created dual role of president and chief investment officer of both entities, effective Sept. 1, according to a company press release Tuesday.
- Porat took the finance reins in May 2015, making her the company’s “longest-serving” CFO, Alphabet’s release stated. She will continue reporting to Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai, and will also serve as CFO while the firm hunts for and selects her successor. Porat is 65, according to the company’s 2023 proxy statement filed April 21 with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
“Ruth has worked to drive financial discipline and returns for shareholders, while spearheading investment to create sustainable, long-term value. As today’s results show, we’re making good progress and we’re committed to continuing this important work,” Pichai said in a statement on Porat included in the company’s earnings release. “In her new role, Ruth will strengthen our collaboration with policy makers and shape our corporate investments to have maximum economic impact for people and economies around the world.”
Porat is arguably one of Silicon Valley’s most powerful CFOs. She began her career at Morgan Stanley just prior to the stock market crash of 1987, CFO Dive previously reported. While at Morgan Stanley she advised several tech companies’ IPOs, including Google’s, and, according to Forbes, was “the chief architect behind the debt financing that saved Amazon from near-collapse during the dot-com crash in 2000.”
In 2010 she become the bank’s CFO, making her one of the most powerful women on Wall Street before moving to Silicon Valley, according to a March 2015 report in The New York Times.
Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, Porat spoke out about the potential for hybrid work, telling Bloomberg in September of 2020 that she believed going forward that the company would get a jolt of productivity if they gave employees the option to work from home some days, and come into the office when their teams are in, CFO Dive previously reported.
“If you save people commuting time, you have better access to talent, because you’re giving people what they want in their personal life,” Porat told Bloomberg at the time. “What that means for real estate we’re still figuring out.”
In her new position, Porat will be responsible for Alphabet’s so-called “Other Bets” portfolio, working on the company’s investments in countries and communities globally, the company said. She will also work with policymakers and regulators on such issues as employment, economic opportunity, competitiveness, and infrastructure expansion.
Her compensation totaled $24.45 million last year, including $1 million in salary, $22.66 million in stock awards, and $775,000 in non-equity incentive plan compensation, according to the company’s proxy statement. That’s up from $14.66 million in the year-earlier, which included $650,000 in salary and $13.9 million in stock awards.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to add Ruth Porat’s age.