Novartis's Gilardi joins corp team

BASEL: Swiss group Novartis has installed John Gilardi in the newly created role of head of corporate PR – one of its top global comms jobs.

Gilardi, who joined in 2004 as head of financial media from Aventis, takes the corporate role as Novartis reallocates responsibilities in the wake of Nehl Horton and Bob Pearson's unrelated resignations.

Horton quit last summer to join Miller Brewing Co in the US, while Pearson – who also had responsibility for product-specific comms – has just joined Dell (PRWeek, 3 February).

Gilardi reports to head of corporate comms Ann Bailey, the most senior global communicator at Novartis. The company is behind brands such as hypertension treatment Diovan and Glivec, used for chronic myeloid leukemia and gastrointestinal stromal tumors.

Bailey, a US national who has worked for Novartis for 23 years, took up her own role ten  months ago.

Other recent arrivals in the corporate comms team in Basel include Christine Elleboode-Zwaans. She joined three months ago and takes charge of all 'corporate citizenship' comms, reporting to Gilardi.
On the product comms side, Carol-Anne Whittaker has taken the role of global pharma comms head (PRWeek, 3 February).

Whittaker, a Brit, effectively replaces Pearson. She joined Novartis six years ago from Procter & Gamble, where she worked for more than ten years in UK and European marketing.

She reports directly to Novartis CEO of pharmaceuticals Thomas Ebeling.

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