Paving the Way for a Spinoff

Cardinal Health’s Sally Curley worked on the transaction that established CareFusion as a separate company.

In the corporate world, it is rare to find executives who say they’re happy to stay in their current job. Assistant treasurers long to be treasurers, treasurers hope to be CFOs, and CFOs have their eye on a CEO’s corner office. That’s not the case for Sally Curley, though. The senior vice president for global investor relations at Cardinal Health, a $103 billion drug distribution company, says she sees herself as a “pro in place.”

“A lot of investor relations people see this job as a stepping stone, and it is true that many investor relations directors move through finance and—if they get treasury or controller experience—can move up to CFO,” Curley says. “You definitely need investor relations experience to be a CFO!”

Just to keep things interesting, in January 2009, CFO Jeff Henderson suggested that Curley and Cardinal Health’s treasurer and controller work on a “shareholder model,” a process that resulted in Cardinal’s boosting its dividend significantly and selling investors on the idea of looking at the company in terms of both earnings and yield.

“We interviewed 100 shareholders and found that there was much more interest in dividends than a share buyback,” she says, “so we decided to increase our dividend 25% after the spinoff.”

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