Eli Lilly CFO Resigns After Investigation Reveals 'Inappropriate Communication' with Employees

Sarah HallamPeople on the Move
Eli Lilly HQ

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Eli Lilly and Co CFO Josh Smiley has resigned after allegations of “an inappropriate personal relationship” with another Lilly employee prompted an investigation. The American pharmaceutical company announced on Tuesday that Anat Ashkenazi will be stepping into the CFO role.

The company hired an independent external counsel to conduct an investigation after it was made aware of the allegations. The investigation revealed “consensual, yet inappropriate personal communications” between Smiley and certain Lilly employees, and the company concluded that Smiley had “exhibited poor judgement” as a result of the investigation.

“Lilly's core values are integrity, excellence and respect for people,” said David A. Ricks, Eli Lilly Chairman and CEO in a press release. “We expect all employees to live these values, and we expect exemplary conduct from our executives at all times."

Under the terms of his separation agreement, Smiley will be able to assist with the ongoing transition. Smiley joined the company back in 1995 and held the CFO position since 2018. The company reiterated that Smiley’s conduct was not related to financial controls, financial statements or any other business matters.

Ashkenazi has been with the company for nearly 20 years and most recently served as senior vice president and CFO of Lilly Research Laboratories. In those roles, she oversaw the CFOs of the company’s commercial businesses, as well as those for research and development, manufacturing and quality, and G&A functions.

"We are confident in Anat's ability to serve as our next CFO given her impeccable track record of leadership and business success across nearly all major parts of the company, most recently as corporate controller and head of the strategy,” Ricks said.

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