Empowering Women: Alphabet’s CFO Ruth Porat

Empowering Women: Alphabet’s CFO Ruth Porat

Ruth Porat’s story is a blend of brilliance and resilience. As a British-American business executive, she has had an impressive career, starting as the Chief Financial Officer at Morgan Stanley and holding the same position at Alphabet and Google since 2015. Recognized for restructuring businesses and enforcing financial discipline, she has significantly increased Google’s share price.

Porat’s leadership has driven financial innovation and showcased the transformative power of women in top-tier positions. Ranked among the most powerful women globally by Forbes and Fortune, Ruth Porat exemplifies the elegance and impact of female leadership, inspiring a new era of possibilities in finance. It is a privilege to write about such an inspiring woman who continues to pave the way for future generations.

CFO Ruth Porat’s History

Ruth Porat was born in 1957 to a Jewish family in Sale, Cheshire, England. She is the daughter of Dr. Dan and Freda Porat. Her father left for Mandatory Palestine after fleeing Vienna on Kristallnacht. As a teenager, he enrolled in the British Army and later fought in the Arab-Israeli War in 1948. The USC Shoah Foundation Institute used the testimony of her father’s survival of the Holocaust.

Porat moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts, at an early age due to her father’s research fellowship at Harvard. Porat has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and International Relations from Stanford University. She also has a Master of Science in Industrial Relations from the London School of Economics and a Master of Business Administration with distinction from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Since 1983, Porat has been wed to Anthony Paduano, a partner in the legal practice of Paduano & Weintraub. Porat is a breast cancer survivor. She allegedly spent $30 million for a Palo Alto home in September 2015. She delivered the graduation speech for Wharton School graduates in 2016.

Ruth Porat’s Career Journey

In 1897, Porat started her career at Morgan Stanley. In 1993, she left Robert F. Greenhill, Morgan Stanley President, to Smith Barney and returned to Morgan Stanley in 1996. From September 2003 to December 2009, she worked as the vice chairperson of investment banking and from September 2006 to December 2009, she was the global head of the Financial Institution Group. She was the co-head of technology investment banking at Morgan Stanley in London. Porat was credited with securing debt financing that helped Amazon avoid collapse during the dot-com meltdown in 2000 while she was still working at Morgan Stanley. In 2014, Politico released an article called “Porat: The Most Powerful Woman on Wall Street.”

Porat guided the Morgan Stanley team, helping the United States Department of Treasury regarding Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the New York Federal Reserve Bank alongside AIG during the Financial Crisis. The McKinsey & Company report “How Remarkable Women Lead” examined Porat’s career. She won the “Best Financial Institutions CFO” title in an Institutional Investor survey for its “2014 All-America Executive Team.”

On March 24, 2015, Ruth Porat became Google’s new Chief Financial Officer (CFO) starting May 26, 2015. Bloomberg Business stated that she signed a $70 million recruiting contract. Institutional Investor recognized her as the “Best Internet CFO” for the “2018 All America Executive Team.” As the CFO of Alphabet Inc. and Google, Porat gave a speech on October 19, 2016, at the Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit in Dana Point, California. Porat oversees Google’s Business Operations, Real Estate, Workplace Services, and Finance.