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Lilly CFO Resigns After Allegations of Inappropriate Personal Relationship

Lilly CFO Resigns After Allegations of Inappropriate Personal Relationship

Eli Lilly finance chief Josh Smiley Photo: stephen lam/Reuters By Dave Sebastian Close Dave Sebastian Feb. 9, 2021 10:20 am ET

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Eli Lilly finance chief Josh Smiley

Photo: stephen lam/Reuters

Eli Lilly & Co. said Chief Financial Officer Joshua Smiley has resigned after the company was made aware of allegations of an inappropriate personal relationship between Mr. Smiley and an employee.

Lilly on Tuesday said an independent investigation with an external counsel found what it deemed consensual but inappropriate communications between Mr. Smiley and certain employees and “behavior that Lilly leadership concluded exhibited poor judgment.”

Mr. Smiley’s alleged conduct wasn’t related to financial controls, financial statements or business matters, Lilly said. No other employees resigned or were terminated in connection with Mr. Smiley’s conduct, a company spokeswoman said.

“Lilly holds all employees accountable to its core values and strongly believes its executive officers carry an even higher burden in ensuring those values are upheld,” the drugmaker said. “Mr. Smiley did not meet that standard.”

The company said Mr. Smiley has agreed to forgo all his $1 million 2020 cash bonus, about $3 million of his 2018-20 shareholder value award and all other current and future equity incentive awards, totaling more than $20 million at target value.

Succeeding Mr. Smiley is Anat Ashkenazi, who joined the company in 2001 and most recently served as finance chief and controller of Lilly Research Laboratories. Mr. Smiley will be available to assist in the transition through July at a cash compensation of $9,000 every two weeks, the company said.

Mr. Smiley joined Lilly in 1995 and rose through the ranks to become CFO in 2018.

The company in January reported a 41% rise in quarterly profit, boosted by sales of its Covid-19 antibody treatment and higher demand for its diabetes drugs.

Write to Dave Sebastian at [email protected]

Copyright ©2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

This post first appeared on wsj.com

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