Eli Lilly says the CFO resigns after “inadequate communication” with employees


Eli Lilly said Tuesday that Chief Financial Officer Josh Smiley resigned after an independent investigation found inadequate personal communication with some of Lilly’s employees.

Lilly said they recently became aware of allegations of an inappropriate personal relationship between Smiley and an employee, and the company immediately hired an outside consultant to conduct an independent trial.

The investigation revealed consensual, albeit inadequate, personal communication between Smiley and certain Lilly employees, as well as conduct that Lilly said Smiley had been misjudged, the company said.

Reuters was unable to reach Smiley immediately to comment. A Linkedin search showed that Smiley’s account, which she managed, was no longer available.

Eli Lilly “took quick and significant action” as soon as he learned of the allegations, a company spokesman told Reuters.

Smiley has been with the company since 1995 and in 2018 became CFO. He will be replaced by Anat Ashkenazi, who was most recently senior vice president, chief executive officer and chief financial officer of Lilly Research Laboratories, the company said.

Lilly said Smiley’s conduct was not related to financial control, financial statements or other business matters or judgments and will help her transition her role.

The #MeToo social media movement has increased the scrutiny of managers and the treatment of employees.

In 2019, McDonald’s fired CEO Steve Easterbrook for a consensual relationship with an employee that the board said violated company policy.

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich resigned in June 2018 after an investigation found he had a consensual relationship with an employee that violated company policy.

Under the divestiture agreement, Smiley will waive all $ 1 million in cash bonuses and other current and future stock incentive awards totaling more than $ 20 million.