Job Title : VP IT international

Organization : Medtronic

Caroline Serfass makes her fourth successive appearance on the CIO50 list – twice in her present role of VP IT international at medical device specialist Medtronic and twice as European CIO at pharmaceutical firm Eli Lilly.

Joining Medtronic in 2010, Serfass has focused on rationalising and simplifying the company’s applications, with the aim of creating scalable and reusable systems. She has also led the use of technology behind various large-scale strategic initiatives to increase growth and profitability at the $7bn business.

At Eli Lilly, Serfass worked her way up to the top European IT job via a number of functions, including internal audit, manufacturing operations and supply chain. In 2001 she became UK IT director of the company that she had joined in 1990, before being appointed CIO of European operations in 2004.

In that role, she led a major IT change programme, creating a European shared-services organisation and outsourcing essential services.

Serfass studied engineering at the École Centrale in France and also has an MSc in robotics from the École Polytechnique de Montréal, Canada. Her initial step in technology was as the first IT manager of a small mining company in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.