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Eli Lilly CFO resigns after investigation reveals 'inappropriate' relationship with employee

Lilly purchases gene therapy company
Posted at 10:04 AM, Feb 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-09 10:06:47-05

INDIANAPOLIS — The senior vice president and chief financial officer of Eli Lilly and Co. has resigned due to allegations of an "inappropriate personal relationship" with an employee, the pharmaceutical company said Tuesday.

Joshua L. Smiley resigned and will leave the company after an investigation revealed "consensual though inappropriate personal communications between Mr. Smiley and certain Lilly employees" and concluded he "exhibited poor judgment."

"Lilly's core values are integrity, excellence and respect for people. We expect all employees to live these values, and we expect exemplary conduct from our executives at all times," Lilly Chairman and Chief Executive Officer David A. Ricks said in a statement.

Smiley joined Lilly in 1995 and was promoted to CFO in 2018, according to an archived company biography.

Lilly also announced Anat Ashkenazi will succeed Smiley as senior vice president and chief financial officer. Ashkenazi has been with Lilly for nearly 20 years and served as senior vice president, controller and chief financial officer of Lilly Research Laboratories since 2016.

Smiley will assist with the transition because his conduct was not related to "financial controls, financial statements or any other business matters or judgments," the company said.