Hunt exits Roche to take top UK health job at PN

Roche UK PR manager Rebecca Hunt has quit to join PR agency Porter Novelli (PN) as director of its UK healthcare practice.

Hunt will replace Jo Fensome, who left last month to become senior vice-president at Ogilvy PR Worldwide’s New York office (PRWeek, 10 December 2004), and will join the Omnicom agency on 1 March.

She will take charge of a team understood to be around 20-strong and that has clients including Roche’s Swiss rival Novartis.

PN also promotes Pfizer/ Boehringer Ingelheim’s co-marketed Spiriva treatment and the Almond Board of California.

Hunt will leave Roche after three and a half years; she joined in 2001 from PN’s sister Omnicom agency Ketchum (PRWeek, 12 October 2001).

PN has also strengthened its UK healthcare team by transferring Amanda Moulson from its office in Atlanta, Georgia, to a London associate director role.

Both Hunt and Moulson report to PN director and healthcare practice leader for Europe Pippa Evans.

Hunt told PRWeek she had seen a ‘sea change’ in Roche’s attitude to ‘appreciating the value of PR’ in her time with the firm, but that it was time for her to take a fresh ‘exciting opportunity’.

Roche has now merged its PR and public affairs teams to form a new department called product comms.

Former UK PR manager Susie Hackett leads the unit, taking the title head of product comms.

Hackett, who reports to general manager John Melville, told PRWeek she was now recruiting for an overall team that she wants to be 11-strong.

It emerges that head of PA Hilary Rutherford has also left Roche. Rutherford declined to comment on her departure.

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