Exclusive: Ruth Porat On Leading Through Crisis And Google’s Latest Moonshot To Rebuild The U.S. Economy—One Small Business At A Time
17 Sep 2020
Ruth Porat, the stalwart chief financial officer of Alphabet and Google, is no stranger to a crisis. She began her career at Morgan Stanley in 1987, a mere seven weeks before Black Monday—the largest single-day decline in trading history at the time. “At that moment, I was concerned that maybe my career was over before it even started,” she recalls.
Far from it. Porat is one of the rare corporate executives to have transcended the upper echelons of Wall Street to the highest ranks of Silicon Valley. While the scenery may be different, many of the challenges remain the same: navigating economic downturns, government investigations and regulatory hurdles. Of course, a global pandemic is a new obstacle. “This environment is more challenging than anything I've seen because you're combining a health crisis with an economic crisis,” says Porat in her first-ever interview with Forbes from her home in Palo Alto, California. “The path forward is less certain.”