Roche comms veteran joins AstraZeneca as UK comms director

AstraZeneca UK has appointed Tina Batchelor, former head of corporate affairs at rival Roche, as UK director of comms.

Tina Batchelor, UK director of comms at AstraZeneca UK

Tina Batchelor is joining AstraZeneca from Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust, where she was head of comms and engagement. She will start her new role on Thursday (1 December) and is tasked with supporting the pharma company in its “mission to transform healthcare through equitable access to the most effective medicines and ambitious purpose-led partnerships.” 

Batchelor will report to Tom Keith-Roach, president, AstraZeneca UK, and head up a nine-strong comms team. She will sit on the pharma giant’s leadership team in the UK, and lead on strategic internal and external comms. Her specific priorities will be to focus on supporting the scaling of health system solutions developed in partnership with the NHS in the areas of chronic diseases and cancer.

Announcing the appointment today, Keith-Roach said: “I am delighted to welcome Tina to our team at AstraZeneca UK. Her extensive experience in the NHS and partnering with other key stakeholders will prove invaluable in achieving our mission to transform healthcare and drive practice change across the UK.”

Batchelor’s appointment follows the departure of Elisa Agate, who covered the role on an interim basis before becoming AstraZeneca’s director of oncology comms, Europe and Canada, earlier this year.

Commenting on her new role, Batchelor said: “AstraZeneca’s values and commitment to excellent patient care are aligned perfectly to those of the NHS. I am looking forward to being part of the team and accelerating change to deliver even better outcomes for patients in the UK.” 

Career path

After graduating from the University of Bath in 1999 with a degree in applied biology, Batchelor spent five years at Sante Communications. She then moved on to Virgo Health, where she spent four years before an 11-month stint at Reynolds Mackenzie as an associate director. 

In 2009 she moved in-house, taking an eight-month maternity cover contract as brand comms manager at AstraZeneca. Batchelor then moved to Roche, where she worked for seven years as a PR manager. In 2016 she was promoted to head of corporate affairs, and during her time in this role spent six months on secondment to Roche’s global headquarters in Basel, as head of public and employee comms.

Batchelor left Roche in 2021 to become head of comms and engagement at Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust.

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