I-Team 8

Lilly’s Josh Smiley out after 2 years as chief financial officer

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — With personnel matters at Lilly, the pharmaceutical company has traditionally been very tight-lipped about the missteps of its executives and employees.

The company, headquartered in Indianapolis, declined to talk on camera Tuesday about the departure of Josh Smiley, its chief financial officer. However, a written statement sent to News 8 says Smiley was not meeting the company’s core values.

A news release from the company says Smiley resigned his position after the discovery Smiley had been involved in an inappropriate personal relationship with another employee. Lilly hired outside counsel to investigate. That investigation revealed consensual though inappropriate personal communications between Smiley and certain Lilly employees, behavior that Lilly leadership concluded exhibited poor judgment by Smiley. 

Smiley appeared in November on “Inside INdiana Business,” which was broadcast on WISH-TV. He talked about a COVID-19 antibody treatment under development by the company.

Smiley came to Lilly in 1995 and has steadily worked his way up the ladder. He was named chief financial officer two years ago. As part of his separation, Smiley has agreed to forgo his 2020 bonus of $1 million and give up almost $24 million in future earnings. 

The statement to News 8 from the company also 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. Mr. Smiley did not meet that standard.

“No other Lilly employees have been terminated due to this incident. Smiley has agreed to make himself available to assist the new CFO transition into the position.”  

The company says Smiley’s resignation had nothing to do with company finances or business decisions. He was expected to remain in a transitional role into the summer. 

CNN reported Smiley is being replaced by Anat Ashkenazi, a 20-year veteran of the company who was most recently vice president of Lilly Research Laboratories.