On June 1, 2021, Sharon Yeshaya made her debut as Chief Financial Officer of leading global financial services firm Morgan Stanley. Her promotion is one of many key leadership changes in the company, representing the rise of a new generation of leaders.
Yeshaya "has been critical in shaping and telling our story with investors," stated James Gorman, CEO and Chairman of Morgan Stanley, in a press release last May. The new CFO was previously Head of Investor Relations, and took over from Jonathan Pruzan who had become Chief Operating Officer.
According to her first interview since the appointment, Yeshaya recounted how the offer came as a surprise. She has always seen her career path as an unusual one, jumping from her initial stint in the Mergers and Acquisitions technology group, to research economist, then even becoming a trader.
Yeshaya believes her latest promotion is likely due to the evolution of the CFO position into a more strategic role. And being in IR, one of the firm's most strategic departments, she saw how she could fit as a pillar of Morgan Stanley's top management.
Moreover, Yeshaya aims to be a role model for diversity in the firm and the industry, hoping to decrease the stigma that women can't handle risk by being in a position that manages risk herself. She explains how having more women in these positions can inspire other women to do the same.
"...You can connect with them in a different way because you faced some of the same challenges and struggles that they might face in their own lives," says Yeshaya, allowing other women to look at you and think to themselves, "I've got a shot."
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