MD Smith joins exodus from GCI Healthcare UK

GCI Healthcare UK MD Rhonda Smith has left after four years – destination unknown.

Her exit is the latest development in a turbulent period for GCI Healthcare, whose dwindling ranks relocated into sister WPP agency Cohn & Wolfe two months ago (PRWeek, 27 January).

PRWeek was unable to contact Smith as the magazine went to press but she is thought likely to remain in the industry.

Separately, GCI Healthcare account manager Rebecca Fancini has also quit to join Euro RSCG Biss Lancaster in the same role. She reports to Cressida Robson, Biss Lancaster's newly promoted head of healthcare.

Jeremy Clark and Jacinta Collins, the joint MDs of Cohn & Wolfe's UK healthcare arm, are now in what the former described as an 'oversight role' in respect of the six GCI Healthcare staff still with the agency.

All six are working in Cohn & Wolfe's offices.

He added that there were no plans 'at the moment' to launch a recruitment search to replace Smith, but was bullish about the state of GCI Healthcare, saying the six staff still with the operation were 'doing fantastic work'. He added that the team had 'picked up additional work' this year, despite the turbulence.

GCI was also recently hit by the loss of V-P of health Europe Dan Beach to client Medtronic (PRWeek, 10 February).

Smith joined GCI in 2002 after more than ten years running her own consultancy.

Of GCI Healthcare's remaining staff, two are consumer health specialists working for clients including homeopathic remedy company Nelsonbach. The other four are working for pharma clients such as Bayer and Valeant.

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