Google has recently come under fire for hiring too few women, let alone for neglecting to promote them. As a result, the company has made a drastic decision by hiring Morgan Stanley’s CFO, Ruth Porat, as its new CFO. The new leadership was announced on Tuesday, one month after the previous CFO retired. Porat will become Google’s highest-ranking female excutive when she begins her new position on May 26.
Other major technology companies are trying to assimilate more women into their work forces. Apple and Facebook have taken notice and began hiring more women over the past 10 months, after the companies revealed that only 15-20 percent of tech jobs were occupied by women.
Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, a venture capital firm that has financed Google and other prominent technology companies, is currently involved in a San Francisco trial involving allegations of sexual discrimination. Within the past two weeks, sexual discrimination lawsuits have been filed by women who have previously worked at both Twitter and Facebook.
Porat leaving her top job on Wall Street is a reminder of the strides being made in the technology industry and its willingness to reshape culture.
The widespread success of Google’s products has spawned three multibillionaires: Google CEO Larry Page, co-founder Sergey Brin and executive chairman Eric Schmidt. Countless other employees have become millionaires from the prominence of Google.
Google was started in 1998 after raising $100,000. Its current market value is nearly $400 billion. On the other hand, Morgan Stanley was founded in 1935 and currently has a market value of about $72 billion. It is evident that Google was able to reach prevalence in a short period of time. Porat will be responsible for one of the most rapidly expanding companies on the market.
Even though Porat is taking on a huge responsibility, she is no stranger to high-pressure jobs. As Morgan Stanley’s CFO, she won Wall Street’s respect for helping the bank regain its financial stability after sinking into deep trouble in 2010.
Although Porat was born in England, she has roots in California and particularly at Google. Porat’s father was a physicist who worked at Stanford University, where she received her undergraduate degree in economics and international relations in 1979.
In addition, she sits on Stanford’s board of trustees, which also has two members of Google’s board, K. Ram Shriram and John Hennessy.
Even though the announcement was recent, Google’s shares rose to $12.17 a share at the close on Tuesday. The stock had been previously lagged due to investors doubting Google’s sporadic investments in projects such as driverless cars. Porat will look to continue this upward trend.
March 27, 2015.