Metcalfe leaves Cohn & Wolfe for Novartis

Kathryn Metcalfe has left Cohn & Wolfe and is joining Novartis as VP of communications and a member of the drug maker's corporate executive group, effective October 4.

Kathryn Metcalfe has left Cohn & Wolfe and is joining Novartis as VP of communications and a member of the drug maker's corporate executive group, effective October 4.

Metcalfe will handle internal and external communications for the US and will be based out of East Hanover, NJ. Cohn & Wolfe is the AOR for Novartis' genital-herpes drug, Famvil.

?She has a strong healthcare background from pharma to biotech to IR,? said Robert Pearson, head of global communications for Novartis.

She replaces Greg Baird, who left his role as SVP of communications at Novartis in March to become a partner at Porter Novelli, leading its New York healthcare team. Bob Laverty, VP of global media relations, filled Baird's role at Novartis while the replacement search was undertaken.

Metcalfe was EVP and general manager of Cohn & Wolfe's flagship New York office, leading its healthcare practice. Donna Imperato, CEO of the agency, had planned for Metcalfe to take a more global role at the firm, so she has promoted Jennifer Gottlieb from VP and GM to Metcalfe's role as EVP, GM and head of the healthcare practice. Gottlieb reports directly to Michael O'Brien, GM and head of the New York office, who was hired in August.

"Novartis is a fabulous company with great products and pipeline," Metcalfe said. "They have a long track record of doing strong PR campaigns and [having a] role in the marketing mix."

"I always said it had to be something great to get me to leave C&W," Metcalfe said, adding that the move was amicable.

"I think it's a fabulous opportunity for her and a natural next step for her," Imperato said.

Metcalfe will report directly to president and CEO Paulo Costa.

Prior to joining Cohn & Wolfe Healthcare, Metcalfe was SVP of SCIENS Worldwide Public Relations.

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