WS shores up health practice with Shire MD

Fiona Hall of Shire Health London has been appointed in Weber Shandwick's top European healthcare job.

Weber Shandwick has poached Shire Health London managing director Fiona Hall for its top European healthcare job.

Hall will join WS as healthcare MD Europe in March, after completing her notice-period from WPP-owned Shire Health.

She will report to WS global healthcare president Laura Schoen and UK chief executive Colin Byrne.

Byrne said Hall would work alongside deputy CEO Sally Ward to boost WS’s consumer healthcare offer, saying the agency did not ‘handle as much [consumer healthcare] as we would like’.

Byrne cited Viagra, the erectile-dysfunction drug whose global PR account WS scooped last month (PRWeek, 31 October), as one account on which Hall would focus.

Hall will also work alongside Rolf Olsen, Geneva-based WS European practices president, on new business pitches, with the aim of tapping into what WS sees as a growing market for accounts that can be serviced on a cross-practice basis by one agency.

In this capacity, Hall expects to work closely with WS’s consumer team, as well as the agency’s lobbyists.

Hall replaces Lee Tomkins, who quit this summer (PRWeek, 25 July) and is now working in-house for Astra-Zeneca (PRWeek, 17 October).

Hall was promoted to MD a year ago (PRWeek, 6 December 2002), having formerly been a board director.

Prior to joining the former Shire Hall as an account director five years ago, she was marketing manager at Bristol-Myers Squibb subsidiary ConvaTec.

Weber Shandwick has annual European healthcare fee income of between £2.5m and £3m, with around two-thirds from London-based business.

Shire Health Group CEO Gloria Gibbons said a replacement for Hall at the London office had already been appointed.

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