Barnes joins as director of PR, reporting to managing partner Ralph Sutton. In his new role, based at Axon's London office, Barnes will manage a team of 12 in the PR division.
'Sam's role is to lead the public relations stream, both the team itself and our profile within the market place,' said Sutton.
'The other area he will be looking at will be building the business across both aspects of the company - medical comms and public relations. As a business we particularly focus on the integration of these offerings and Sam's experience across both areas will be invaluable to our clients and the business as a whole.'
Barnes, who is already in place, spent the past four years at Weber Shandwick as a director. During his time at Weber Shandwick he set up and led the medical education arm of the business, DNA Medical Communications.
Prior to his role at Weber Shandwick, Barnes spent four years working at Burson-Marsteller, and seven years working for leading pharmaceutical companies GlaxoSmithKline and Novartis.
Axon is part of the National group of companies, which is headquartered in Montreal, Canada. The London, Toronto, Montreal and New York offices provide medical comms, public relations and clinical research consulting support to the pharmaceutical and medical device industries.
UK clients include Roche, Novo Nordisk, Novartis, Johnson & Johnson and Bristol-Myers Squibb.