Alphabet brings on Eli Lilly's Anat Ashkenazi as CFO

Alphabet on Wednesday said it has hired pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly's CFO, Anat Ashkenazi, as its finance head.

The appointment comes nearly a year after Alphabet confirmed that its current CFO, Ruth Porat, would leave the post. Porat, who joined the company (then known as Google) from Morgan Stanley in 2015, will move into a new role: president and chief investment officer of Alphabet and Google.

Ashkenazi will start her new role at Google's parent company on July 31, according to an SEC filing today, after 23 years at Eli Lilly, where she served in various roles until landing the CFO role in 2021. Eli Lilly also separately said that Ashkenazi had resigned, writing that she intends to remain in the position through July.

Alphabet is obviously an entirely different business than Eli Lilly, which is known for pharmaceuticals such as clinical depression and diabetes drugs, but Eli Lilly is an $800 billion company in its own right, so the step over is not going to be Herculean. Plus, Alphabet already has existing alignments with the healthcare and life science sectors through its subsidiaries such as Verily and Calico.

It's also worth noting that Alphabet has spun out an AI-enabled drug-discovery company called Isomorphic Labs, founded by DeepMind's Demis Hassabis. Earlier this year, Isomorphic Labs inked a strategic deal with Eli Lilly (and Novartis) to help apply AI to drug R&D.

Ashkenazi will be based in the Bay Area and will report directly to Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai.

"We’re very pleased to have found such a strong CFO, with a track record of strategic focus on long-term investment to fuel innovation and growth," Pichai said in a statement. "The AI era is giving us an incredible opportunity to innovate at scale across our core products, and to create entirely new products and experiences for our users and customers. I look forward to working with Anat as we invest responsibly to support our next wave of growth."