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Google Hires Morgan Stanley's Ruth Porat As Chief Financial Officer

Before becoming CFO of the investment bank Morgan Stanley, Porat was a banker for tech companies including Amazon, eBay, and Priceline.

Posted on March 24, 2015, at 9:59 a.m. ET

Ruth Porat
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Ruth Porat

Another Wall Street veteran is leaving banking to become chief financial officer of a large tech company. Morgan Stanley's chief financial officer, Ruth Porat, will become the chief financial officer of Google, the company said today.

Porat, who has been CFO at Morgan Stanley since 2010, is a natural fit for a head finance job in Silicon Valley. In the 1990s, Porat worked with technology companies like Amazon to take them public and was then a senior merger and acquisitions banker. Google, of course, is already public, but is also a frequent buyer of technology companies like Nest, which it bought for over $3 billion, or Waze, which it bought for almost $1 billion.

The last banker to make the trip west was Anthony Noto, who transitioned from being Twitter's banker in charge of taking it public to the company's chief financial officer last year.

"We're tremendously fortunate to have found such a creative, experienced and operationally strong executive," Google CEO Larry Page said in a statement.

"She has been a mentor and sponsor to many colleagues, and a role model for even more. Her tremendous energy, diligence and insight have been an enormous asset to the Firm," said Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman in a memo sent internally Tuesday morning obtained by BuzzFeed. The contents of the memo were confirmed by a Morgan Stanley spokesperson.

Porat will be replaced by Jonathan Pruzan, who is the co-head of the Global Financial Institutions Group. Pruzan has been at Morgan Stanley since 1994.

Google's previous CFO, Patrick Pichette, announced his resignation in March, saying in a long personal post on Google+ that he wanted to spend more time with his family after seven years running Google's finances.

This is not the first time Porat has been considered for a higher-profile gig — in 2013 she was considered for a senior role in the Treasury Department but ended up staying at Morgan Stanley. Porat will start at Google in May, the company said.

"Ruth has always maintained her ties to California, serving on the Stanford Board, visiting family, and working with clients there. I have no doubt she will succeed in her new role," Gorman said.

"I'm delighted to be returning to my California roots and joining Google," Porat said in a 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. I can't wait to roll up my sleeves and get started."

This post has been updated with comments from a Morgan Stanley memo.