Google Hires Morgan Stanley Executive Ruth Porat as New CFO

Morgan Stanley Chief Financial Officer Morgan Porat will replace Google CFO Patrick Pichette, who announced his decision to step down earlier this month.

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Google has appointed Morgan Stanley's Chief Financial Officer Ruth Porat as its new CFO.

Porat will start at Google on May 26 and will report to Google CEO and co-founder Larry Page, the company announced Tuesday.

She will replace Google's current CFO Patrick Pichette, who announced his plans to step down from the role earlier this month. Pichette, Google's CFO for nearly seven years, has noted that he would continue at Google until the company finds a replacement and he has had an opportunity to help the new appointee through an orderly transition.

Porat joins Google after an 18-year stint at financial services company Morgan Stanley, during which she held several influential roles, including that of vice chairman of its Investment Banking group and global head of the Financial Institutions Group.

"I'm delighted to be returning to my California roots and joining Google," Porat said in the Google statement.

"Growing up in Silicon Valley, during my time at Morgan Stanley and as a member of Stanford's Board, I've had the opportunity to experience first hand how tech companies can help people in their daily lives."

Google's statement announcing Porat's new role describes her as a key figure in Morgan Stanley's efforts to advise the government on its dealings with AIG, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac during the prolonged recession that started in 2008. She was also the lead banker for financing rounds sought by several major technology companies, including Amazon, eBay, Netscape and Priceline.

In 2013, Porat was one of several candidates being considered for the role of U.S. deputy Treasury secretary, but she withdrew her name from consideration for personal reasons, according to the New York Times.

One of Porat's immediate tasks will be to restore Wall Street's confidence in Google's ability to execute on the numerous efforts it has under way to broaden its revenue stream. Although Google remains an enormously wealthy and profitable company, it has missed Wall Street's revenue and profit expectations for five straight quarters.

Analysts have been particularly concerned about what they perceive as a gradual softening of Google's core advertising businesses. A slowdown in Google's overall rate of growth and a small but noticeable drop in search engine market share have only exacerbated those concerns.

While analysts have worried about its core businesses slipping, Google itself has focused considerable energy on various new ventures, none of which has gained real market traction yet.

Examples include its efforts in the gigabit Internet market, its foray into the wireless carrier space as a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), its autonomous auto development effort and programs like its Project Loon that delivers Internet service to remote regions via high-altitude balloons.

Jaikumar Vijayan

Jaikumar Vijayan

Vijayan is an award-winning independent journalist and tech content creation specialist covering data security and privacy, business intelligence, big data and data analytics.