Eli Lilly CFO resigns over 'inappropriate personal communication' with employee

Eli Lilly CFO resigns over 'inappropriate personal communication' with employee
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Eli Lilly chief financial officer Josh Smiley has stepped down from his role over an "inappropriate personal relationship" with an employee.

An independent investigation found “consensual though inappropriate personal communications” with an unnamed Eli Lilly employee and behavior that the company’s leadership felt exhibited “poor judgement by Mr. Smiley,” it said in a statement on Tuesday.

Lilly said the communication was not related to financial controls, financial statements or any other business matters.

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“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,” it said. "Mr. Smiley did not meet that standard.”

Smiley will be replaced by Anat Ashkenazi, who most recently served as senior vice president, controller and chief financial officer of Lilly Research Laboratories.

Smiley will be allowed to assist in the transition under the terms of his separation agreement.

He resignation is the latest to come as companies scrutinize relationships between employees and executives. Jide Zeitlin left his post as CEO of Tapestry Inc. in July over allegations of an inappropriate relationship with a woman before joining the company, Bloomberg notes.

And McDonald's fired CEO Steve Easterbrook in November 2019 over a consensual relationship he had with an employee.