Google’s Longest Serving CFO Ruth Porat Is Moving On

Porat said she felt it's time for new challenges.

Ruth Porat
Ruth Porat joined Google in 2015 from Morgan Stanley. Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Friends of Hudson River Park

Google (GOOGL) and its parent company Alphabet (GOOGL) are looking for a new chief financial officer as its current CFO Ruth Porat gets promoted to a new role within the tech giant, CEO Sundar Pichai announced during Alphabet’s second-quarter earnings call yesterday (July 25).

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Porat, 66, is a prominent female leader in Big Tech and a key figure in driving Google’s market cap growth in the past decade. She joined the company in 2015 as CFO after a long career in investment banking. Before Google, Porat was the financial chief at Morgan Stanley. In addition to finance, Porat also oversees Google’s business operations and Real Estate & Workplace Services functions.

Starting September 1, Porat will assume the newly created role of president and chief investment officer at Alphabet, overseeing its “Other Bets portfolio,” a group of experimental and cutting-edge tech ventures that include self-driving company Waymo and life sciences startup Verily.

She will also manage Google’s global investments in infrastructure, real estate and data centers as well as its efforts to expand India, she told CNBC yesterday. In the same interview, she said she had been a CFO for 14 years (between Google and Morgan Stanley) and felt it was time for her to take on a different set of challenges.

“As our longest serving CFO, she has helped guide the company through an amazing period of growth, a global pandemic, and the ongoing economic uncertainty that has followed,” Pichai told analysts on yesterday’s earnings call.

Pichai said Porat will lead Google’s 2024 financial planning as CFO while the company searches for her successor.

As CFO, Porat is one of the highest-paid employees at Google. She made $24.5 million in salary and stock awards last year and $15 million in 2021.

Along with CEO Pichai, Porat yesterday reported Alphabet’s better-than-expected revenue and profits for the quarter ended June 30, thanks to a rebound in advertising sales, a strong demand for its cloud service, and cost reduction through layoffs announced in the previous quarter.

The search company posted a quarterly revenue of $74.6 billion, up 7 percent from last year, and a profit of $18.4 billion, or $1.44 per share.

Alphabet shares jumped more than 6 percent today.

Porat said Google will increase its investments in “technical infrastructure,” such as A.I. chips and data centers, in the second half of 2023 and next year.

“The primary driver is to support the opportunities we see in AI across Alphabet, including investments in GPUs and proprietary TPUs, as well as data center capacity,” she told analysts. “With all that said, we remain committed to durably reengineering our cost base in order to help create capacity for these investments in support of long-term sustainable financial value.”

Google’s Longest Serving CFO Ruth Porat Is Moving On