Exclusive: Portland’s health chief departs after six years in post

Dr Jane Brearley, Portland’s head of health in the UK, has left the agency and will take time out from her career to consider how the PR industry can “do so much better” before deciding her next move, PRWeek has learned.

Dr Brearley has decided to take time to reflect on how the industry can do better (pic credit: Ben Stevens)
Dr Brearley has decided to take time to reflect on how the industry can do better (pic credit: Ben Stevens)

Commenting on her departure, Brearley told PRWeek: “It has been an amazing six years at Portland – the work and the team are exceptional. At the beginning of the year, when I first decided it was time for a new challenge, the world was a completely different place. Everything has been turned on its head and authentic communications matters more than ever before.”

Brearley has appeared in PRWeek’s ‘Top Ten in healthcare and pharma comms’ for the past three years.

Career path

Having joined Portland in May 2014 from Publicis Life Brands Resolute, Brearley was made partner the following year before being given sole responsibility for the healthcare practice later the same year.

Brealey, who has a PhD in biophysics, began her comms career more than 20 years ago as an account manager at The Workhouse, before moving to Sante Communications. More senior roles followed, including as vice-president of health at Waggener Edstrom and director at Publicis Resolute, before she joined Portland. Brearley was promoted from senior partner to managing partner at the agency in January this year.

Fresh direction

Commenting on her future plans, Brearley added: “I am going to take some time to think about what is next and reflect on how our industry could do so much better.”

Portland was contacted by PRWeek but did not respond to a request for comment on Brearley’s departure or her replacement.

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