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Forbes: A CFO helps Cardinal Health find its value-creation groove

Back in August 2022, when Cardinal Health, Inc.’s finance chief, Jason Hollar, succeeded CEO Mike Kaufmann as the healthcare giant’s top executive, among the immediate challenges facing new CEO Hollar was filling the company’s CFO vacancy.

At the time, an activist investor with an eye toward management change had put in motion a strategic review of the company’s businesses, and certain members of the analyst community were speculating that the former CFO’s tenure at the top might be short-lived. Fast-forward to March 2024, as shares of Cardinal Health reached yet another 52-week high and CEO Hollar told CNBC’s Jim Cramer: “We have simplified how we do things. We’ve exited some product lines. We’ve exited some countries. We’ve done a lot of careful analysis to make sure that all of our resources are reinvested in our core business.”

To wit: What was once deemed an activist’s strategic review quickly generated what might become a management case study for driving value creation in an activist environment.

For Hollar, who had served as Cardinal Health’s CFO since May 2020 and previously been CFO of Tenneco, Inc., management’s bold emphasis on value creation might have been something to be expected within the wheelhouse of a veteran CFO ’s repertoire. At the very least, an experienced finance leader would likely have keen insight into who among their peers has distinguished themselves in such environs.

Enter Aaron Alt, CFO of Houston-based commercial food distributor Sysco Corp., who with little healthcare experience to speak of edged out other competition to become Cardinal Health’s new finance chief in January 2023.


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Cardinal Health is a distributor of pharmaceuticals, a global manufacturer and distributor of medical and laboratory products, and a provider of performance and data solutions for healthcare facilities. Subscribe to our News Alerts to get all of our latest news.