Anat Ashkenazi Named as New Google CFO to Replace Ruth Porat

Anat Ashkenazi has served as Eli Lilly’s CFO since 2021 (Image: Eli Lilly)
Anat Ashkenazi has served as Eli Lilly’s CFO since 2021 (Image: Eli Lilly)
The Eli Lilly executive has been named as new CFO successor amid Google’s transformative AI push, whilst Ruth Porat will stay on as company President & CIO

Alphabet, Google’s parent company, announces Anat Ashkenazi as its new Chief Financial Officer (CFO) from July 2024.

After a year-long search for Ruth Porat’s replacement, Anat joins Alphabet from pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly. Her appointment comes at a significant time for the company, particularly as the trillion-dollar company has refocused its teams around generative artificial intelligence (Gen AI).

In particular, Google is undergoing a significant period of transformation with its artificial intelligence (AI) offerings, including the launch of its model Med-PaLM, which is capable of answering medical questions.

Since 2015, Ruth Porat has driven significant growth as CFO as she helped ease Google’s transition to its current position within the Alphabet umbrella. She is expected to stay on at Alphabet in a new role as company President and Chief Investment Officer (CIO), according to reports. 

Who is Anat Ashkenazi?

Anat Ashkenazi has served as Eli Lilly’s CFO since 2021, having worked within the company for more than twenty years. She has held a range of roles across strategy and finance. 

As CFO, Anat oversaw the finance chiefs of the commercial business as well as those for research and development (R&D), manufacturing and quality. She also led the corporate strategic planning team, business transformation office and served as CFO for several of the company’s global business areas.

Also during her tenure at Eli Lilly, the company launched leading diabetes drugs that made it one of the most valuable pharmaceutical companies in the world, with a current market gap of more than US$578bn.

Anat currently serves on the board of directors at Maravai Life Sciences and previously served on the board of radiation therapy leader Varian Medical Systems.

Her new role within Alphabet will see her needing to manage Alphabet’s crucial investments into AI and data centre compute power, whilst the company seeks to compete with fellow tech giants.

She will be based in San Francisco in the United States and report to Alphabet CEO, Sundar Pichai.

Building on Google’s AI success 

Alphabet has already boasted some strong earnings in 2024 so far, according to Reuters, suggesting that its AI initiatives are continuing to boost demand for its cloud services. However, with the technology expecting to raise costs dramatically as demand continues to surge, prompting the need for more server capacity, Anat will have a large task in managing investment costs with enterprise innovation.

The company has already garnered significant revenues in the first quarter of 2024, having reported US$80.54bn - a figure that surges 15% year-over-year.

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When it comes to AI, Google is seeking to power the next generation of AI innovation and research for global businesses. This will include Google Cloud making advances to its Gemini models and partnerships with leading companies, including the likes of Nvidia and Hugging Face.

Likewise, Alphabet’s YouTube and cloud business are expected to end 2024 at a combined annual run rate of more than US$100bn, according to Alphabet.

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