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News & Trends - Pharmaceuticals

Sanofi’s departing Country Lead leaves three-decade legacy of strategic, compassionate leadership

Health Industry Hub | April 17, 2024 |

Pharma News: In a significant development for Sanofi’s local operations, Karen Hood, a seasoned leader with 28 years of invaluable contribution to the company, has disclosed her decision to step down from her current roles effective 31 May 2024. This announcement, delivered today to Sanofi’s team members, marks the conclusion of a tenure characterised by strategic foresight, impactful leadership, and an unwavering dedication to excellence.

During her tenure, Hood has held pivotal positions within Sanofi, notably serving as the Country Lead for Sanofi Australia & New Zealand for eight years. Simultaneously, she assumed the role of General Manager of the General Medicines business for an equivalent duration, guiding the strategic direction of the company with distinction. Additionally, Karen has served as the Foundation Community Head (Commercial Operations) for Sanofi’s General Medicines business across the Japan Pacific Region for the past three years, further solidifying her reputation as a leader of strategic acumen and global perspective.

Hood has been instrumental in advancing Sanofi’s mission to bring innovative medicines and vaccines to patients.

“Our investment in the Translational Science Hub is one of many examples of us backing our science and fuelling Australia’s medical innovation potential,” she told Health Industry Hub recently.

“When I look at what we have achieved toward our Play to Win strategy, our agility in catering to our customers, our focus on life-transforming scientific portfolios, and our progress in leveraging AI responsibly, all reflect our commitment to never settle,” she remarked.

Hood’s commitment to fostering a culture of inclusivity and diversity has been exemplary, earning Sanofi accolades such as AFR Best Place to Work in Healthcare, WGEA Employer of Choice, and recognition as a Family Friendly Workplace. These achievements underscore her dedication to creating a workplace where every individual feels valued and empowered to contribute their best.

Michelle Zimany, People & Culture Lead, Japan Pacific SPC, said “Karen Hood is the leader we all aspire to be – kind, calm and empathetic while also effectively deploying the strategic foresight and power required of a senior leader navigating their teams through ever evolving landscapes.

“Under Karen’s leadership our local business has thrived both commercially and culturally. Her legacy is a strong Sanofi in Australia & New Zealand, where our people have known that their contribution stretches far beyond commercial and scientific success. The Sanofi she leaves is one where curiosity and stretch to deliver the right outcomes for our patients, customers and wider communities is the ultimate goal.

“I am personally grateful to Karen for always being willing to challenge the norm and break new ground on programs that make it easier for our people to deliver in their roles, be their true selves at work, and produce the right outcomes for our patients and customers.”

In a heartfelt reflection on her departure, Hood shared “The decision to step down from my role at Sanofi is not one I came to lightly. Over 28 years this organisation and the teams I have had the privilege to lead have become an enormous part of my life.

“I will always be grateful to Sanofi for the early opportunities it afforded me in bringing my passions for science and patient care together. As I have grown in the company, I have stayed grateful for the stretch I have been able to achieve across a range of roles and countries.”

Highlighting her profound appreciation for the collaborative spirit within Sanofi, she remarked “Having the opportunity to work with, and support the work of, some of the best scientists in the country and collaborate with leaders across many industries to better Australia’s healthcare system has been an honour.

“Leading our amazing people, helping them to deliver access to innovative medicines and vaccines, and knowing the outsized positive impact we can have on the lives of so many people has helped me to continually strive for more over such a long period.”

As Hood prepares to depart from Sanofi, she leaves behind a well-positioned organisation poised to continue its trajectory as an industry leader. Her departure, while marking the end of an era, serves as a testament to her enduring impact and contributions to Sanofi’s success.

“I have always said that leading in our industry is both an extraordinary privilege and a huge responsibility. I know that I’m leaving Sanofi having built a culture where our patients truly are at the centre of our thinking,” Hood remarked, reflecting on her tenure.

With gratitude for the support she received along the journey, she added “Now, I’m looking forward to taking a short break and spending some time with my husband and son before finalising my next steps, which I will confirm in time.”

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