Tanya Von Ahlefeldt becomes co-director in charge of healthcare at Porter Novelli. She is the third high profile departure from Ruder Finn this summer, following European innovation director Pat Pearson and associate director Paul Gittins, both of whom joined Red Health (PRWeek, 6 June).
Ruder Finn MD John Preston said the agency was not looking to directly replace Von Ahlefeldt at present. ‘We feel we’ve got things covered,’ he said.
He insisted that the recent departures were not something to worry about. ‘It’s in the normal run of things, we’ve got strength in depth, and we have been making replacements,’ he said. Jaimie Brown was recently brought in from Pfizer to be associate director in the health team (PRWeek, 27 June).
Von Ahlefeldt will run the health division on her own at Porter Novelli while fellow director Rebecca Hunt goes on maternity leave in
When Hunt returns, expected to be in around six months, she and Von Ahlefeldt will run the health business jointly. Hunt will concentrate on UK work while Von Ahlefeldt focuses on international business.
Von Ahlefeldt said: ‘Porter Novelli is trying to make things less ‘in silos’. I have a huge amount of consumer experience and could traverse different types of industries.’
Von Ahlefeldt was previously director of healthcare at Manning, Selvage & Lee. Before that she was client services director at Compass Communications and worked as a healthcare content manager at Hutchinson 3G – now called 3 – where she was responsible for consumer content on mobile phones. She was also assistant MD of Ukpractice.net, a website aimed at GPs, set up in 1995.
Her early career was in the fashion industry in the UK, South Africa and Hong Kong, working across sales, marketing and PR for various clothing retailers including Etam. In her latest role she reports to Porter Novelli MD Jean Wyllie.