My life journey took me from growing up in a small town in Romania and studying to become a medical doctor, to accomplishing a successful career in the pharmaceutical industry, traveling around the globe and building a life in the UK as a single mother of two, a woman full of passion, a citizen of the world.
In 2012, when I visited the Mumbai slums, sitting on the cement floor of a house half the size of my kitchen in the London suburbs, looking at the smile and generosity of our hosts, I understood that I have lost the connection with what is most important in life – complaining about low-speed internet, slow traffic and workplace conflicts, when people smile with all their hearts just for being alive.
Here started my journey of gratitude, my recovery from running after society defined success, feeling broken and complaining about life not giving me what I want. Back in the UK I had the epiphany that work cannot define me. I am more than an average director, more than an abandoned partner, more than a struggling mother – there is something valuable inside me, in the deepest part of my soul, that no failure can take away
In my professional life, I have led organisational transformation as a General Manager for GSK Serbia and Montenegro, motivated and inspired GSK UK Pharma to launch the newest innovative asthma treatment at the time, created compelling strategies for business expansion and crisis management as Head of Urology Global Strategy and orchestrated excellence in execution as Head of Commercial Strategy and Operations for ViiV Healthcare International, for the benefit of people living with HIV.
For creating unprecedented trust with local strategic partners in Serbia, I was recognised with the GSK Europe President Award in 2011, while my success in mitigating the impact of the dutasteride supply crisis on patients across the world has been rewarded with the 2016 GSK Global Manufacturing and Supply President Award.
What I’m most proud of are the lives I have impacted as a leader, mentor and coach throughout my entire career, inspiring and developing people.
Behind the scenes it has always been my personal journey of transformation – becoming a proud single mother, choosing integrity versus compromise when I ended a twelve-year marriage, strongly believing that children can only thrive when they are surrounded by love, honesty and laughter, irrespective of how atypical their family is. Moving from Bucharest to Belgrade and then to London, I went through all the confidence challenges adaptation to different cultures brings. And learned to navigate corporate politics, trust my business instinct and the value I was adding to the conversation, even when my Romanian accent was giving up my heritage.
On October 2019, when sitting on the 12th floor of the company where I worked for 20 years, I was told that my role no longer exists, I decided to reinvent myself.
I cannot say it has been easy. And if you have ever been made redundant, you know the emotions you go through. It took me months to get over resentments, blame and start forgiving. Most difficult, forgiving myself, for not being every day the best I could be, accepting how I let this happen to me and embracing that it is happening for me. Well, we are humans… And that is the most challenging and, at the same time, the most beautiful part of it. We make mistakes and we can work miracles. What you need is a dream bigger than you can ever imagine you can achieve. Because unless you dare to climb the highest mountains, you can never enjoy the breath-taking view from the top!
There has been a red wire throughout my entire life – doing good for people: for patients, as a doctor or pharma executive, for my family as a mother, daughter and wife, for my friends… Passionate about equality and inclusion, celebrating diversity and authenticity, living with mindfulness and compassion, I now work with clients from San Francisco to Mumbai, from London to Bucharest, empowering them to move from breakdown to breakthrough, from surviving to thriving, to become the leaders they were born to be.