Cohn & Wolfe lures Ketchum's Catherine Barnett

Cohn & Wolfe has moved quickly to plug the gaps left in its healthcare team following the departure of two directors, with a new senior hire.

Joining C&W: Barnett
Joining C&W: Barnett

The agency has poached Ketchum director Catherine Barnett to join its healthcare team as a board director. She will join the agency in March after working her notice period at the rival agency.

Last week, PRWeek revealed that C&W healthcare directors Fiona McMillan and Rebecca Galbraith had been dismissed (22 January). The pair had handed in their resignations last month and were working out their six-month notice periods.

At Cohn & Wolfe, Barnett will join existing healthcare directors Alison Wright and Jo Spadaccino. She will report to CEO Fiona Noble.

Barnett joined Ketchum in 2006 as an associate director and was promoted to a practice director two years later.

She previously worked at pharma firm AstraZeneca for two years as a brand communications manager for its breast cancer drugs Arimidex and Faslodex (PRWeek, 14 September 2006).

Barnett worked alongside Cohn & Wolfe's Wright at both Ketchum and AstraZeneca. Before AZ, Barnett worked at Ogilvy PR Worldwide for more than four years. She also previously worked in various communications roles at the Royal College of Nursing.

Cohn & Wolfe has seen a number of departures from its healthcare senior team over the past year.

Healthcare MD Jacinta Collins left last April without a job to go to after ten years at the agency (PRWeek, 4 February 2009).

She was not directly replaced, but a team of five directors took over leadership of the healthcare team. The directors on the healthcare board were McMillan, Spadaccino, Galbraith and Annabel Fiddian-Green.

McMillan, Galbraith and Fiddian-Green have all since left. Deputy MD and consumer health lead Caroline Maddock also left the agency last summer to join rival healthcare agency Chandler Chicco as a team leader (PRWeek, 20 August 2009).

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