Karen Hood bows out in style

By Megan Brodie 1 month ago | In Companies, People
  • 1 month ago
Sanofi ANZ Country Lead Karen Hood is leaving the company after 28 years.

17 April 2024

She’s one of the most experienced and nicest people in the Australian pharmaceutical industry but after almost three decades with Sanofi, Karen Hood has announced she will retire from her position leading the ANZ team at the end of May.

“The decision to step down from my role at Sanofi is not one I came to lightly,” Hood said in a statement released today (Wednesday). “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.”

Karen speaking at the IWD Women in Life Sciences Luncheon in March. Source: MedNews

Hood joined the industry in 1996, her initial plan being marketing in the racehorse industry given she was from a family of racehorse trainers. She still lives on acreage on the outskirts of Sydney and has never lost her passion for horses, and no doubt plans to spend more time in the saddle and with her family when she leaves Sanofi.

The company has not yet announced who will step into her role, although its succession plan was no doubt inked some time ago. Hood built a strong team of predominantly female leaders in Australia, her replacement most likely to be female given the heavy dominance of women at the French pharma’s local affiliate.

Hood’s track record at the company is undeniably impressive, not only in promoting an equitable workplace but most recently in helping establish the Sanofi Translational Science Hub in Queensland that connects world-class researchers with Sanofi scientists in the US and France.

Just this week Sanofi inked a $3 million deal with IDT Australia to support the preclinical formulation development and cGMP manufacture of Sanofi’s mRNA for clinical trials at the hub.

“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,” Hood said.

Signing the Translational Science Hub agreement in 2022.

“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.

“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. Thank you to all who have supported me along the journey.

“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.”

Hood steps down on 31 May having spent eight years as ANZ Country Lead, eight years as General Medicines GM, and three years as Foundation Community Head (Commercial Operations) for the JPAC Region General Medicines business, often juggling multiple roles at the same time.

She guided the company through the pandemic and consequent transformation of its Macquarie Park offices and, renowned for her kindness and inclusivity, has led Sanofi to become an AFR Best Place to Work in Healthcare, a WGEA Employer of Choice, a Family Friendly Workplace, and one of Australia’s Best Workplaces for Dads.

“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,” Sanofi JPAC People & Culture Lead, Michelle Zimany said.

“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.”

©MedNews 2024

Leave a Reply