Google CFO Ruth Porat

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Ruth Porat (born 1957) is an American[1] financial executive, who is the current CFO of Alphabet (of which Google is a subsidiary) as of May 2015.[2][3] She was Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President of Morgan Stanley from January 2010 to May 2015.[1]


Early life and education[edit]

Porat was born to a Jewish family[4] in Sale, Greater Manchester England,[5] the daughter of Dr. Dan and Frieda Porat.[6][7] She moved at a young age to Cambridge, Massachusetts, where her father was a research fellow in the physics department at Harvard University. Her father later relocated the family to Palo Alto, California where he worked at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratoryfor 26 years.[8] Porat is a graduate of Stanford University, and holds a master of science from The London School of Economics and an MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania




Morgan Stanley[edit]

Porat started her career at Morgan Stanley in 1987 but left to follow Morgan Stanley President Robert F. Greenhill to Smith Barney in 1993[9] and returned to Morgan Stanley in 1996. Before becoming CFO, she served as Vice Chairman of Investment Banking, from September 2003 to December 2009 and Global Head of the Financial Institutions Group from September 2006 through December 2009. She was previously the co-head of Technology Investment Banking and worked for Morgan Stanley in London.[5] Her financial partner during the Internet investment banking craze was Mary Meeker, who is the godmother to Porat’s three children.[9]

During the financial crisis, Porat led the Morgan Stanley team advising the United States Department of the Treasury regarding Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and the New York Federal Reserve Bank with respect to AIG.[10][11] In the 2011 HBO movie "Too Big to Fail," Porat is played by Jennifer van Dyck.[12] In May 2011, she presented to the Bretton Woods Committee hosted by the International Monetary Fund in Washington, D.C. on post-crisis reform and financial legislation, and to the World Economic Forum in Davos, in 2013 on "trust" levels within and of the financial sector.[13][14][15]

In 2013 it was said that President Barack Obama would nominate Porat as the next Deputy Secretary of the Treasury.[16] However, it was reported later by Bloomberg News andThe New York Times that Porat had contacted White House officials to withdraw her name from consideration because of improving conditions at Morgan Stanley and the acrimonious confirmation process inflicted upon then Treasury Secretary-nominee Jack Lew.[17][18]

Porat's career was analyzed in the McKinsey & Company study "How Remarkable Women Lead".[19] She was named "Best Financial Institutions CFO" in a poll conducted byInstitutional Investor for its "2014 All-America Executive Team".[20



On March 24, 2015 it was announced that Porat would join Google as their new CFO as of May 26, 2015.[2] Bloomberg Business reported that her hiring deal included financial incentives that will eventually amount to $70 million by 2016. [21]



She is a member of the Borrowing Advisory Committee of the United States Treasury,[22] the Board of Trustees of Stanford University,[23] the Board of Directors of The Council on Foreign Relations,[5] the Board of Trustees of the Economic Club of New York,[24] and the Bretton Woods Committee.[25] She is a member of the Advisory Council of the Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy at the Brookings Institution.[26]

Political views[edit]

Porat supported Senator Hillary Clinton when she ran for President in 2008, hosting a fundraiser at her apartment in The Dakota in New York City.[27] In 2011, Porat expressed her support for increased taxes on the wealthy and declared on the topic of significant spending decreases that "we cannot cut our way to greatness."[28]

Personal life[edit]

Porat has been married to Anthony Paduano, partner in the law firm of Paduano & Weintraub, since 1983.[6] Porat is a survivor of breast cancer.[29]


Ruth Porat, formerly the CFO of Morgan Stanley, received a $70 million-plus cash and stock deal from Google for making the transition from Wall Street to Silicon Valley.

Porat's salary will actually be less at Google (GOOGLTech30): $650,000, compared to the $1 million she made at Morgan Stanley, according to a filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

But she'll get a $5 million cash signing bonus after spending one year at Google and a special $25 million stock grant that she will receive incrementally over the next two years.

But wait, there's more! Starting next year, she'll begin receiving a $40 million stock grant every other year. That grant will vest over the course of four years.

Highest paid women in tech

She was paid well at Morgan Stanley (MS), but she'll make quite a bit more at Google.

Porat made an average of a little over $10 million in cash and stock at Morgan Stanley over the course of the past four years. At Google, she'll average about $18 million a year over the same amount of time.

As part of the announcement, Google said that all of its executives will start to get the same biennial stock grants that Porat is getting, rather than cash bonuses. That will tie their pay more closely to the company's stock performance, but it's not clear how that will impact the amount they get paid -- most senior executives had been eligible for cash bonuses of roughly twice their annual salary.

Porat's pay package is substantial, but not unprecedented, for Google. Her predecessor, Patrick Pichette, received $39 million in cash and stock in 2012 and $18 million in 2011. (Porat is being paid the same $650,000 salary that Pichette earned.)

Pichette will stay on at Google "until such time as Google determines that there has been a smooth transition to the new CFO," according to the filing. For his knowledge transfer to Porat, Pichette will get the biennial equity grants he was due to receive through 2018, prorated based on the amount of extra time he stays on at Google.

For Porat, Google's new hire orientation is held every Monday (or Tuesday if Monday is a holiday). Google noted that the number of spaces in each session is limited; so Porat's start date hasn't yet been determined 

Google's stock hopped on a rocket ship Friday morning, flying up more than 14% after the company's stellar Q2 earnings.That's its biggest one-day rally ever.

The company delivered an EPS beat and was nearly spot-on with revenue expectations, with YouTube's growth accelerating and an unexpectedly high ad-click increase. But the comments of the new CFO, Ruth Porat, also made a big impression.

Google stock had been basically flat for the past year, with Wall Street worried about decelerating core-business growth and a need for more disciplined spending, and Porat told investors exactly what they wanted to hear.

Analysts praised Porat liberally in their research notes this morning:

"New CFO delivers," Macquarie wrote. "... we thought Ruth's commentary was incrementally positive on top of mind issues," Barclays commented. "Dawn of a new era? Kinda feels like it," Deutsche Bank titled its research note on the earnings. Porat "did not disappoint," Goldman Sachs notes. "She focused on the matters that the market cares about the most, namely the ability to invest with discipline and what appears to be a more pragmatic outlook on its balance sheet."

Porat is one of Wall Street's own stars:

Before joining Google, she spent more than 20 years at Morgan Stanley, prompting Politico to laud her as "the most powerful woman on Wall Street."

Google's paying Porat $70 million in bonuses and grants, a number that seems paltry compared to the roughly $50 billion it added to its market cap after she delivered its earnings.

Although her comments on the earnings call did the most to quell investor doubts, we can't actually give her credit for the numbers in Google's report: She didn't officially take over from former CFO Patrick Pichette until May 26, when the quarter was more than half over.


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