Google Grabs Morgan Stanley CFO Ruth Porat

(Los Angeles Times/TNS) -

Ruth Porat, chief financial officer of Morgan Stanley, is leaving to take the same job at Google Inc., a symbolically significant move by a high-profile Wall Street executive — and one of the finance industry’s most prominent women.

Google said in a statement Tuesday that Porat will start her new job May 26, reporting to Google CEO and co-founder Larry Page.

“We’re tremendously fortunate to have found such a creative, experienced and operationally strong executive,” Page said in the statement. “I look forward to learning from Ruth as we continue to innovate in our core … as well as invest in a thoughtful, disciplined way in our next generation of big bets.”

A Morgan Stanley spokesman confirmed Porat is leaving the company. In an email to employees obtained by the Los Angeles Times and confirmed by a spokesman, James P. Gorman, Morgan Stanley’s chairman and chief executive, praised Porat and said she played a key role in leading the firm though the financial crisis of 2008. He said Porat would be succeeded by Jonathan Pruzan, now co-head of the global financial institutions group in the firm’s investment-banking unit.

Porat has worked at Morgan Stanley since 1987, serving, among other roles, as vice chairman of the investment-banking unit and co-head of technology investment banking. She was lead banker on several important technology financing rounds, including for Amazon.com Inc., eBay Inc., Netscape and Priceline Group Inc., Google said. During and after the financial crisis, she led Morgan Stanley teams advising the U.S. Treasury on the troubled housing agencies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and the New York Federal Reserve Bank on imperiled insurer American International Group.

Porat, a native of Palo Alto and Portola Valley, Calif., and a Stanford University graduate, is vice chairman of Stanford’s board of trustees.

“I’m delighted to be returning to my California roots and joining Google,” she said in a statement.

In trading Tuesday, Google shares rose $11.38, or 2 percent, to $570.19; Morgan Stanley shares dropped 7 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $36.24.