Julia Brau Donnelly is Pinterest’s new chief financial officer, the company announced yesterday (May 30). Beginning June 20, Donnelly will work under CEO Bill Ready, who described her as “a strategic, disciplined and highly regarded leader” in a company statement. “Her deep experience across e-commerce, media and technology is an ideal fit for our next chapter at Pinterest,” Ready said.
Donnelly previously served as the vice president and global head of finance and accounting at Wayfair, overseeing the global finance team. She has worked at Wayfair since 2016, in roles including the head of corporate finance and the director of strategic finance and investor relations.
Since going public in 2019, Pinterest hasn’t made a profit most years. In need of a new strategy to bring profitability, the board appointed Ready, who formerly worked at Google and Venmo, last year. The installation drove “a philosophical shift” in the company’s business strategy, UBS analysts said in a March report. Ready is building out Pinterest’s advertising business and ad tech partnerships.
Donnelly will replace Pinterest’s CFO since 2016, Todd Morgenfeld. In February, the company announced Morgenfeld would depart on July 1. Morgenfeld helped lead Pinterest’s IPO process—opening on the stock market at $19 per share in 2019—and drive shareholder value, reaching a high of $89 per share in February 2021. In the last year, Pinterest’s stock price has fluctuated between $17 and $29 per share. It is down 2.6 percent since yesterday’s announcement, trading today at $23.72 per share.
While serving as CFO, Morgenfeld was also the head of business operations. It is unclear whether Donnelly will take over these job duties as well.
Who is Julia Brau Donnelly?
Donnelly attended Stanford University and Harvard Business School. From 2004 to 2006, she worked as an investment banking analyst for Morgan Stanley. She was an investor in media and technology companies at Thomas H. Lee Partners for six years, beginning in 2010, and has served on the boards of directors for iHeartMedia and Agencyport Software. Donnelly’s experience analyzing business strategies and risks at Morgan Stanley and Thomas H. Lee Partners led to her appointment at iHeart in 2013, according to a proxy statement by the company.
Donnelly has similar experience to that of other social media CFOs. Susan Li, Meta’s CFO, worked as an analyst at Morgan Stanley from 2005 to 2008, overlapping briefly with Donnelly. Derek Andersen of Snap also held various financial positions before becoming CFO. The Reddit CFO, Drew Vollero, has been in and out of finance roles since 1990, including a three-year stint as Snap’s CFO starting in 2015. The other CFOs have also held positions on multiple boards, including Li with Alaska Airlines and Vollero with Tailored Brands.
“Pinterest has always stood out to me as a unique and positive place that helps people make their real-life aspirations into a reality,” Donnelly said in a statement. “I’m thrilled to join the team and help drive Pinterest’s next phase of growth.”