Makara Health hires ex-creative chief at FCB Health

Neil Padgett, former managing director, creative, at FCB Health, has been appointed creative director at Salisbury-based Makara Health.

(L-R) Shula Sarner, director, scientific services, at Makara Health, and Neil Padgett, the agency's creative director
(L-R) Shula Sarner, director, scientific services, at Makara Health, and Neil Padgett, the agency's creative director

Padgett's appointment is one of several additions to the agency’s ranks, which have tripled in size since April 2019.

Padgett was creative director at Halesway for 16 years and stayed on after the agency was bought by FCB Health. 

He joins former FCB Health colleagues Ekta Rohra and Martin Cannings, who have joined Makara in the past year as director of digital strategy and senior digital developer respectively.

Padgett will lead Makara’s creative team working alongside another recent hire, senior designer Jamie Hickton. And his appointment is one of eight new hires announced by the agency last month.

New arrivals

Shula Sarner, former executive scientific director at the Lucid Group, has joined as director, scientific services. She has a doctorate in clinical sciences and almost 20 years experience in medical comms.

“I’m delighted to be joining Makara during this period of rapid growth, and at such an interesting time for our industry,” Sarner commented. 

Other new appointments include Catherine Tighe as senior medical writer, Laura Carswell as an account director, Louise Bains as project manager, Lee Barnes as junior digital developer, and Gina Gough as project coordinator in the client services team.

Growth rate

The number of staff at the agency has soared from 11 to 36 in the past 18 months, Louise Sharp, the agency’s managing director, said: “[This] has been an exciting year for Makara and we are pleased to expand our team in all areas of the business."

Despite the wider disruption caused by Covid-19, the “agile working structures and senior team that we already had in place put us in a strong position to tackle these challenges head-on and, fortunately, we have seen continued growth throughout this period,” she added. 

Makara Health was founded by Sharp, a former partner at Zaicom International, and Clare Lucker, a former senior director of healthcare at Cohn & Wolfe, in 2013.

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