Fishburn Hedges' Bharmal moves to AstraZeneca

Ayesha Bharmal has left her position of board director and head of health at Fishburn Hedges after nearly eight years to join AstraZeneca's international communications team in the UK.

Ayesha Bharmal has left her position of board director and head of health at Fishburn Hedges after nearly eight years to join AstraZeneca's international communications team in the UK.

Bharmal will start as global media director at the pharmaceutical giant beginning February 4. She will report to Ersa Erkal-Paler, head of global media relations.

Bharmal will handle proactive media relations, working to promote stories that fit with AstraZeneca's corporate business plan. She will have a specific focus on UK corporate communications.

The appointment of chief executive Pascal Soriot in October has prompted a strategy review across the company, the results of which will be disclosed along with a financial update.

Fishburn Hedges, which set up a 12-strong dedicated healthcare team under Bharmal's leadership in March 2011, has not confirmed a replacement.

However, chief executive Fiona Thorne told PRWeek UK that the agency had a model of “specialist expertise in sectors and disciplines, but with no formal boundaries or silos,” meaning the firm will “continue to grow and expand” its work in healthcare.

The team was set up to offer seamless communications advice for healthcare clients, supported by an advisory panel of UK National Health Service clinicians and managers to provide insight from within the sector.

Bharmal's primary goal in the role was to drive new business and build the agency's specialty across the public, private, and voluntary sectors. Clients include Celesio UK, Novartis, and the Health Foundation.

This article originally appeared on the website of PRWeek UK, the sister publication of PRWeek at Haymarket Media.

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