Blue Shield of California Announces Sandra Clarke as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer and Jeff Semenchuk as Senior Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer | Blue Cross Blue Shield

Blue Shield of California Announces Sandra Clarke as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer and Jeff Semenchuk as Senior Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer

SAN FRANCISCO -- Blue Shield of California announced today that it has selected two external candidates to join the senior leadership team of the company: Sandra Clarke joins as senior vice president and chief financial officer; Jeff Semenchuk joins as senior vice president and chief innovation officer, a newly created role. Mick Murray, Blue Shield’s senior vice president and chief financial officer since 2013, has elected to retire. He will remain with the company through the end of 2018 working on key strategic projects.

“To transform the health care system and fulfill our mission, we need creative, dynamic leaders. Today I’m excited to announce the addition of two such leaders to the Blue Shield team – Sandra Clarke and Jeff Semenchuk,” said Paul Markovich, president and chief executive officer.

“I can’t thank Mick Murray enough for his dedication to seeing that we fulfill our mission. From helping to identify his successor, to providing leadership as we navigate the acquisition and integration of Care1st Health Plan, Mick always puts the interests of Blue Shield and our members first and challenges us to find creative ways to solve our toughest problems.”

Clarke joins Blue Shield effective August 6 from Daiichi Sankyo Inc., the U.S. subsidiary of Tokyo-based Daiichi Sankyo Ltd., which develops and markets a range of pharmaceuticals. Clarke served as senior vice president and chief financial officer of the company in Basking Ridge, N.J. Clarke has also held senior finance roles at Philips Healthcare, where she served as CFO of its North & South America Commercial Group and at Siemens Water Technologies Group, where she was vice president of finance and controller. Clarke holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a concentration in finance, and a Master of Science degree in Accounting, from Bentley University in Waltham, Mass.

“This is a dynamic time in U.S. health care. One of the highly compelling reasons to join Blue Shield is the organization's mission to improving health care for everyone. I am excited to be part of the team that will make this happen,” Clarke said.

Semenchuk joins Blue Shield from Yaro (formerly Zest Health), a health care/financial technology startup, where he is chief executive officer. Prior to Yaro, he served as chief innovation officer at Hyatt Hotels; co-founder and CEO of Citi Ventures and managing director of Citi’s global ventures and innovation team; and head of global innovation at Pfizer Consumer Healthcare. He earned a B.A. in Communications from Wheaton College and an M.A. in Communications from Northern Illinois University. He and his wife Sonia currently live in Chicago and will be relocating to the Bay Area in August.

“I’m so happy and honored to join Blue Shield in this new role. I share the team’s passion for helping our members have healthy lives by making health care personal, affordable and easy to access,” Semenchuk said. “We all know that the healthcare system has become dysfunctional, fragmented, and costly. We must, and we will, transform the experience for our members and partners. I’m excited to be part of an organization that will disrupt the status quo.”

Added Markovich: “I am proud that Sandra and Jeff chose Blue Shield. They are both great examples of the leaders we look for: They have built great teams, achieved results and have continued to learn throughout their careers. I’m also excited about the future we can build together to truly transform care.”

About Blue Shield of California

Blue Shield of California strives to create a health care system worthy of our family and friends that is sustainably affordable. We are a nonprofit, independent member of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association with 6,800 employees, more than $17 billion in annual revenue and 4 million members. Founded in 1939 and headquartered in San Francisco, Blue Shield of California and its affiliates provide health, dental, vision, Medicaid and Medicare health care service plans in California. The company has contributed more than $500 million to Blue Shield of California Foundation since 2002 to have a positive impact on California communities.

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About Blue Cross Blue Shield Association

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association is a national federation of 36 independent, community-based and locally operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies that collectively provide health care coverage for one in three Americans. BCBSA provides health care insights through The Health of America Report series and the national BCBS Health Indexsm. For more information on BCBSA and its member companies, please visit We also encourage you to connect with us on Facebook, check out our videos on YouTube and follow us on Twitter.

The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association is an association of 36 independent, locally operated Blue Cross and/or Blue Shield companies.