Google to Pay New CFO Ruth Porat More Than $70 Million

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Google Inc. agreed to pay new Chief Financial Officer Ruth Porat more than $70 million after she takes the post in May, putting her among the highest-paid CFOs in the industry.

Porat, who held the same role at Morgan Stanley, will get a $5 million one-time signing bonus and a $25 million stock grant this year that will vest through 2017, the Mountain View, California-based technology company said in a regulatory filing Thursday. She will also receive a $40 million biennial stock grant in 2016 that will vest by 2019 and a base salary of $650,000 annually.

Porat is replacing Patrick Pichette, who said this month that he would step down. She will leave Morgan Stanley in April and assume her new position on May 26.

Google is under growing pressure to show that it can trim costs as it invests in new businesses to better compete with rivals such as Apple Inc. and Facebook Inc. The company is looking to Porat, one of the financial industry’s most senior female executives with more than 25 years at Morgan Stanley, to bring greater fiscal discipline. She follows other Wall Street veterans who have moved to Silicon Valley firms.

“We’re tremendously fortunate to have found such a creative, experienced and operationally strong executive,” Google Chief Executive Officer Larry Page said in a statement Tuesday when Porat’s appointment was announced.

Bank Compensation

Porat received total compensation of $40.3 million for her first four years as CFO of Morgan Stanley, according to regulatory filings. Her total pay for 2014 hasn’t been disclosed.

Porat owned almost 920,000 Morgan Stanley shares, or $32.7 million worth, according to a regulatory filing earlier this month. About $5.9 million of those were restricted share units that were still subject to cancellation, according data compiled by Bloomberg. She holds options to purchase more than 200,000 additional shares, according to a 2014 filing.

Porat also has been granted stock awards that pay out based on the bank’s performance over three-year periods that haven’t ended. While the 2015 grant hasn’t been disclosed yet, those awards from the past two years total $8.6 million at their target amounts and could rise to more than $15 million if Morgan Stanley exceeded its goals.

Wesley McDade, a spokesman for the bank, declined to comment on whether Porat would receive any of the restricted stock or performance shares.

Pichette’s compensation at Google fell to $5.2 million in 2013 from $38.7 million. The company typically gives equity awards to executive officers in even-numbered years.

Ease Transition

Google on Thursday said it would pay Pichette pro-rated outstanding equity grants that were set to vest in 2016 and 2018, based on the time he would have spent as finance chief. That will ensure “that he continues performing in the role until such time as Google determines that there has been a smooth transition to the new CFO,” the company said.

Twitter Inc. CFO Anthony Noto received a one-time stock award of 1.5 million restricted shares vesting over four years, valued at about $64 million at prices in early July, when his appointment was announced. Noto, who also had experience on Wall Street, received a one-time option grant to buy 500,000 shares, as well. Apple’s Luca Maestri, who was promoted to finance chief last year, received compensation valued at $14 million, including a salary of $717,211 and $11.3 million in stock.

Other roles at Google invite larger pay packages. Omid Kordestani, Google’s 11th employee, was awarded $123 million in restricted stock after he replaced Nikesh Arora as chief business officer last year.