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After presiding over the largest cutbacks in company history, Alphabet CFO Ruth Porat made it clear to CEO Sundar Pichai last February that she was ready for change. Photos Getty
After presiding over the largest cutbacks in company history, Alphabet CFO Ruth Porat made it clear to CEO Sundar Pichai last February that she was ready for change. Photos Getty

Is Ruth Porat’s New Job at Alphabet a Coronation or a Last Dance?

After eight years of steering financial growth at the Google parent, the CFO steps into a new leadership role with unclear implications.

Aug. 12, 2023 6:00 AM PDT

In February, after Alphabet had put the finishing touches on the technology giant’s 2023 plan, CEO Sundar Pichai and Chief Financial Officer Ruth Porat sat down to brainstorm about the future of the organization and its people. One of the people the two discussed was Porat herself, according to sources familiar with the conversation. The topic: Porat’s desire for a change in role.

After eight years at Alphabet, 65-year-old Porat had become the company’s longest-serving CFO. She oversaw a period of remarkable financial reengineering and growth, with the tech company embarking on new and once-unthinkable moves, like buying back its own stock for the first time in 2015. But more recently, Porat had presided over the most punishing period in the company’s 25-year history, culminating with the layoffs of 12,000 employees, Google’s largest-ever cutbacks, in January.

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