LeadershipBroadsheetDiversity and InclusionCareersVenture Capital

Ruth Porat’s Googleyness, Another Al Franken Accuser, End of the Yellen Era: Broadsheet for Nov. 21

November 21, 2017, 12:41 PM UTC

Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Ruth Porat has reached peak Googleyness, another woman makes accusations against Al Franken, and it’s officially the end of the Yellen era. The Broadsheet will be on hiatus on Thanksgiving Day, but before we take off, please let us know: What development in the world of women and business are you actually thankful for this year? (And don’t say the Broadsheet!) Email me your responses at valentina.zarya@fortune.com.


 Guru of Googleyness. Adam Lashinsky, Fortune's assistant managing editor, profiles Ruth Porat, CFO of Google and its holding company Alphabet, for our Dec. 1 issue. Two years into her job, the former finance chief of Morgan Stanley is "rather Googley," Adam writes, a quality exhibited in her "all-together-now spirit blended with financial and analytical rigor." He explains:

"Porat is the current steward of the unique culture that cofounders Larry Page and Sergey Brin established for their grad-school-like enterprise that now employs more than 78,000 globally...Not merely the finance chief, Porat also oversees the company’s 'real estate and workplace services' group, which means she’s in charge of the buildings and all those famous perks. The company’s facilities around the world have a high standard, she says. They need to be 'fun' and 'whimsical' and to enable collaboration."

While Porat may be in charge of the search giant's famous perks, her main contribution to the firm "has nothing to do with whimsy," Adam notes. Months after joining Google, she led a financial engineering initiative that "had the immediate effect of demonstrating two things to investors: Google was minting even more money than they thought, and the 'other bets' weren’t losing as much as they feared."

Moreover, she "enforced new discipline" among the tech behemoth's managers. "One radical change involved accounting: Leaders were required to factor in the cost of employee stock options and other equity compensation for their routine budgeting. It’s a break from Internet-industry norms that is intended to provide managers with a more realistic picture of their spending." Read the full profile here


Today is another day of sexual misconduct-related headlines:

 Change the channelEight women have told The Washington Post that television stalwart Charlie Rose made unwanted sexual advances toward them, "including lewd phone calls, walking around naked in their presence, or groping their breasts, buttocks or genital areas." In a statement provided to the publication, the TV host said, "I have behaved insensitively at times, and I accept responsibility for that, though I do not believe that all of these allegations are accurate." PBS, Bloomberg, and CBS have already suspended distribution of Rose's show. Washington Post

 How Harvey hid it. Another brilliant piece of reporting by Ronan Farrow details the elaborate legal agreements that Harvey Weinstein used "to evade accountability for claims of sexual harassment and assault for at least twenty years." As his former assistant, Zelda Perkins, said to Farrow, “What I want to talk about at this point is not what Harvey did...It’s more about the system that protected him and that enabled him, because that’s the only thing that we can change. Money and power enabled, and the legal system has enabled. Ultimately, the reason Harvey Weinstein followed the route he did is because he was allowed to, and that’s our fault.” New Yorker

 Another Al accuserA second woman is accusing Minnesota Sen. Al Franken of sexual misconduct. Lindsay Menz says the comedian-turned-senator grabbed her buttocks while taking a photo at the Minnesota State Fair in 2010 (he was already in office). The accusation comes days after radio host Leeann Tweeden said that Franken kissed and groped her while they were together on tour in 2006. Franken says he doesn't remember Menz and that he feels "badly that Ms. Menz came away from our interaction feeling disrespected." CNN

 Picking up his slackWhile Franken deals with the fallout from the allegations described above, his fellow Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar has taken over sponsorship of a sexual assault bill he championed. The legislation would provide grants for law enforcement officials to receive training on the right ways to question victims of sexual assault and other trauma. CNN

 Thrush joins the throng. New York Times White House correspondent Glenn Thrush has been suspended following a report by Vox that detailed allegations against him by several women, including the story's author, Laura McGann. The accusations range "unwanted groping and kissing to wet kisses out of nowhere to hazy sexual encounters that played out under the influence of alcohol. Thrush's response:“I apologize to any woman who felt uncomfortable in my presence, and for any situation where I behaved inappropriately. Any behavior that makes a woman feel disrespected or uncomfortable is unacceptable." Fortune


The case of the exiting execs. Senior Snap HR exec Kathy Mandato left the company earlier this month—just five months after joining. She had previously been at NBCUniversal for a decade. Mandato is the latest female executive to leave the photo-sharing company, including three others in HR roles as well as former COO Emily White. The Information

I'll get on board. The European Commission, the EU's legislative body, will advocate for a gender quota that requires 40% of a company’s non-executive directors to be female. Firms that fail to meet that threshold will be required to prioritize female candidates over men when filling a board seat. (Note that corporate boards in the U.S. are about 20% female.) Fortune

End of an era. Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen will leave her seat on the central bank’s Board of Governors once her replacement Jerome Powell is confirmed and sworn in. Her term as chair ends in February, but she technically could have continued serving out a separate appointment as a Fed governor until 2024. Fortune

History made in NOLA. LaToya Cantrell won a historic election this past Saturday to become the first female mayor of New Orleans. Cantrell was a City Council member who gained a political following for her activism on behalf of her neighborhood in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Associated Press

Share today's Broadsheet with a friend.
Looking for previous Broadsheets? Click here.


Female-driven WWII spy thriller in the works from Equity, Queen of Katwe producers Hollywood Reporter

Sean Hannity tried to book one of Roy Moore's accusers. Her lawyer's response was epic.  Fortune

Melinda Gates: 'Me too, me too, me too' is changing the world Time

Muslim women, caught between Islamophobes and ‘our men’ New York Times


I went from thinking I don’t have a story to thinking, 'Oh wait, I have 100 stories.' And I think a lot of people are having these reckonings with themselves, of things that we just took for granted as like, this is part of the process.
Natalie Portman, on her experiences with sexual harassment and sexism