Sanofi hires AstraZeneca's corporate affairs chief for vaccine comms role

Pharma giant Sanofi Pasteur has poached Eleanor Duff from AstraZeneca to become its head of global comms.

Eleanor Duff has moved from AstraZeneca to Sanofi Pasteur
Eleanor Duff has moved from AstraZeneca to Sanofi Pasteur

Now based in Lyon, Eleanor Duff reports to Thomas Triomphe, executive vice-president and head of Sanofi Pasteur, and is a member of the company’s vaccines executive committee and corporate affairs leadership team. 

“Her combined scientific and communications background will be a powerful asset to our team as we continue our transformation,” Triomphe said in a statement. “She will work with all functions to support our business objectives and help us increase share of voice in the vaccine ecosystem.”

Duff succeeds Corinne Demée, who “has decided to pursue new opportunities" after more than four years in the role, Sanofi said.

Triomphe paid tribute to Demée, and said she had “managed to transform the way communications are done in vaccines”, as well as having “renewed and refocused the communications team as true partners to our brand leaders”.

Commenting on her new role, Duff told PRWeek: "This is a great opportunity for a communications professional to be able to engage stakeholders in a conversation about the value of vaccines as a critical public health tool."

She added: "I look forward to ensuring that Sanofi's 100-year legacy of vaccine innovation is at the forefront of this discussion and that, beyond the current COVID-19 pandemic, vaccines remain front and centre for communities as the best possible protective measures against multiple diseases across the lifespan." 

Duff’s appointment comes just weeks after Fiona Olivier was headhunted from AbbVie, where she was head of global patient relations and international public affairs, to become global head of public affairs and comms for Sanofi's general medicines division.

Heavy hitter

Duff describes herself as a “broadly experienced pharma/biotech corporate affairs leader” and an “academically trained science advocate and communicator with strong leadership and corporate affairs skills”.

She also says she “excels at translating and distilling scientific content for multiple audiences, effectively bridging the traditional chasms between the scientific, regulatory, and consumer worlds”.

Duff spent three years at the Montreal Neurological Institute at McGill University before leaving academia in 2003 to become a medical editor at the medical education company MedCases Canada. 

She has built a career that has included a series of corporate affairs roles. Between 2011 and 2016 she was vice-president, healthcare, at Feinstein Kean Healthcare, now known as Ogilvy Cambridge.

Prior to joining Sanofi Pasteur, Duff spent five years at AstraZeneca, where she was global head of oncology, R&D, and corporate affairs.

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