Alphabet CFO Ruth Porat
Photograph by Jin Lee — Bloomberg/Getty Images
By Stephen Gandel
March 26, 2015

Call it a golden magnet.

Earlier this week, Google said that it had hired the former chief financial officer of Morgan Stanley and general finance bigwig Ruth Porat to be its new CFO. For many, this solidified a sea change in the economy that we have known has been coming for a while: Silicon Valley is the new Wall Street.

Porat’s Wall Street exit showed that the financial sector is less attractive – financially and emotionally – than it used to be. Furthermore, regulation of the financial industry is so stringent now that it’s driving bankers out of the business. Either way, Wall Street’s lost luster is a gain for the rest of us, because top university and business school graduates will now chose careers where they can create things other than money.

Not so fast. On Thursday evening, Google revealed it was paying Porat nearly $70.7 million in cash and stock to make her noteworthy exit from Wall Street. According to a filing, Porat will get a $5,000,000 signing bonus, as well as $65 million in restricted stock, that will pay out over the next four years. The first chunk, worth $5 million, will vest at the end of this year. There’s a $650,000 base salary on top of that.

That’s a considerable pay jump for Porat. In early 2014, Morgan Stanley reported that it had paid Porat just over $10 million for 2013. It has yet to officially say what paid her last year. She also had been granted, over the years, another $10 million in stock that she had yet to cash in. So she’s getting three-and-a-half times what she made on Wall Street to make the jump to Silicon Valley.

All this proves that less has probably changed than most think. People go to Wall Street for the same reason they leave it-the money.

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