Dr. Aradhana Sarin's ascent to the role of Chief Financial Officer (CFO) at AstraZeneca is nothing short of inspiring. In a recent episode of "Secrets of Rockstar CFOs," the executive shared her remarkable journey, taking us through her evolution from a practicing physician in Africa and India to a leadership position in a global enterprise.
Before assuming her current role at AstraZeneca, Dr. Sarin served as the Executive Vice-President and CFO of Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Her extensive professional background spans over 20 years, combining operating roles at Alexion with advisory roles at prestigious financial institutions. Notably, she held key positions at Citi Global Banking and UBS, gaining profound insights into global healthcare systems, capital markets, and strategic transactions.
Dr. Sarin's career trajectory is unique, rooted in her diverse experiences. Trained as a medical doctor in India, she spent two years practicing medicine in both India and Africa. This dual expertise in medicine and finance positions her as a versatile leader capable of navigating the intricate intersection of healthcare and business.
AstraZeneca's announcement of Dr. Sarin's appointment as Executive Director and CFO came on the heels of the 2021 acquisition of Alexion Pharmaceuticals. At the time of Dr. Sarin’s C Suite appointment, Leif Johansson, Chairman of AstraZeneca, welcomed her as a talented successor, highlighting her addition as a vital step in AstraZeneca's journey.
Initially, Dr. Sarin's remuneration package, aligned with AstraZeneca's approved policies, reflected the company's commitment to fair and transparent compensation. With a base yearly salary that exceeded one million USD – that included a maximum annual award of 450% of base salary in the form of performance shares, which are subject to performance targets measured over a three-year performance period – Dr. Sarin's compensation was structured to align with the company's objectives of attracting the industry’s top talents to capture long-term market success.
As Dr. Sarin continues her role in the pharma giant’s C Suite, her responsibilities extend beyond financial matters. Her diverse background, which includes serving on the board of OraSure Technologies, Inc. from 2018 to 2020, underscores her commitment to broader corporate governance issues.
Importantly, Dr. Sarin's journey to CFO at AstraZeneca is a testament to the power of diverse experiences in shaping effective leadership. As the pharmaceutical juggernaut continues to navigate the complex landscape of global healthcare, Dr. Sarin's unique blend of medical and financial expertise positions her as a key player in driving AstraZeneca's success in the years to come.