Vertex brings on Edelman's Kym White to head comms

White exits her role as Edelman's global health head in May.

Kym White
Kym White

NEW YORK: Edelman’s global health head Kym White has joined Vertex Pharmaceuticals as SVP and chief communications officer.

White will join the Boston-based pharma company May 21. She will report to Michael Parini, EVP and chief legal and administrative officer, and oversee the U.S. comms team of 15.

She is replacing Dawn Kalmar, who served in a slightly different role as VP of corporate communications and left the company in January, said Heather Nichols, director of external communications at Vertex.

White will oversee the full spectrum of global comms at Vertex, including product communications, media relations, digital and social communications, internal communications, corporate social responsibility, and community affairs.

"Vertex is on an incredible growth trajectory, building on its success cystic fibrosis and taking company into new areas," White said. "As result, it was a compelling opportunity for me to join a fast-growing company to help them evolve their story and continue to build out the comms function."

White most recently served as global chair of the health sector at Edelman. She has been at the firm since 2011, according to her LinkedIn profile.

An Edelman spokesperson said the firm is currently conducting a search for White’s replacement.

"It is an exciting time in the life sciences industry, we’re on the precipice of so many advances," White said. "I’ve had a wonderful and fulfilling seven years at Edelman, and I’m excited return to an in-house role and apply what I’ve done at Edelman."

Previously, she was corporate comms VP and global function leader at medical device company Baxter International and headed up the health practice and New York office at Ogilvy. She began her career at Burson-Marsteller.

Last year, White was named to PRWeek and MM&M's Health Influencer 50 list.

Vertex has three approved drugs for cystic fibrosis, and has additional treatments in the pipeline for cystic fibrosis, spinal cord injury, pain, cancer, and influenza. In 2017, Vertex reported $2.09 billion in revenue, a 46% increase over the previous year.

Editor's note: This story was updated on March 30 with comment from White.

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