Lilly exec resigns after relationship that violated policy

Eli Lilly has replaced its chief financial officer who resigned following an investigation into a personal relationship that violated company policy.

Josh Smiley stepped down as senior vice president and chief financial officer and will leave the company, the drugmaker said Tuesday, after it learned of “allegations of an inappropriate personal relationship” between Smiley and an employee.

The independent investigation found “consensual though inappropriate personal communications” between Smiley and some employees and behavior that demonstrated poor judgment, according to the company.

Lilly said Smiley’s behavior wasn’t tied to business matters or financial controls or statements.

The Associated Press left a message seeking comment from Smiley with a Lilly representative.

Smiley, a long-time company employee, had served as chief financial officer since 2018. He received total compensation valued at about $7.3 million in 2019 as the company’s second-highest paid executive, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

The drugmaker named its chief financial officer for Lilly Research Laboratories, Anat Ashkenazi, to replace Smiley.

Ashkenazi joined Lilly in 2001. She has a bachelor’s degree in finance and economics from Hebrew University and a master of business administration from Tel Aviv University.

The Indianapolis company recently reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings, with a COVID-19 treatment bringing in $850 million in U.S. sales in the last three months of 2020.

Shares of Eli Lilly and Co. slipped 1% at the start of trading Tuesday to $203.28.

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