Google’s Badass New CFO Is A Woman

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.
Ruth Porat has been called “the most powerful woman on Wall Street.” Now, she’s taking that prowess to Silicon Valley, where she’ll be Google’s new chief financial officer. She’ll also be the company’s first female C-level executive.

Porat, who has made an impressive name for herself in the finance world as the CFO of Morgan Stanley, will be tasked with reviving Google’s flatlining stock numbers and appeasing investors by divvying up the company's $65 billion in cash to either buy back shares or issue dividends. 

Here’s why she’s a name you should know. 

She’s Well Educated
After getting her undergraduate degree in Economics at Stanford, Porat gained her business smarts with a master's degree in Economics from The London School of Economics and an M.B.A. from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

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She Helped Keep Our Economy Afloat In 2008
Porat headed a Morgan Stanley team advising the U.S. Department of the Treasury during the Wall Street debacle over the federal takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2008. She also worked all day and all night, sometimes only coming home to shower, to help the Federal Reserve save American International Group from further crushing our tanking global economy.

Obama Wanted To Nominate Her As Deputy Secretary Of The Treasury
President Obama planned to nominate Porat as his next Deputy Secretary of the Treasury in 2013, but she asked that her name be withdrawn as she was still working on improving conditions at Morgan Stanley, and didn’t want to deal with the intense personal scrutiny a White House position would entail. Can’t blame her.

She Doesn't Believe In "Work-Life Balance"
But, that doesn't mean she's a complete workaholic. She just thinks the phrase "work-life balance" sets women — and men — up to fail. Instead, Porat told Politico she believes in finding an optimal, integrated “mix” of work and family. The two aren't independent; the mix shifts over time depending on work needs and family needs. You shouldn't put one off in favor of the other, she says. Porat has three sons. 

She's Tough As Nails
On top of all of her personal and professional accomplishments, Porat is a breast cancer survivor

She Believes "Leaning In" Isn't Enough
"If you are leaning in to a door that is nailed shut, you are just going to get bloodied and tired of trying to push that door open. So you have got to have the next level, which is, 'How do you open up those doors to the ever-bigger roles?'" Porat told Politico

She’ll Be Making Bank
Porat is getting a hefty pay raise with her new position at Google. According to an SEC filing found by the New York Times, she’ll make a $650,000 annual salary, get a $5 million signing bonus, and be granted $65 million in stock grants (the other executives will begin getting similar stock grants, rather than cash bonuses, beginning this year). She’ll also get a $7,500 moving allowance. 
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