Changing Faces: Pharma-adjacent hires from February 2023

business meeting

February was a bit of a light month, so we’re combining our agency and consultancy roundup with our digital and supplier roundup.

For hires within pharma and biotech companies themselves, check out our other roundup from earlier in the week. For the rest, read on below.

From Oracle to FDA. The US FDA has tapped Troy Tazbaz, former SVP at Oracle, for a new role that will oversee AI and machine learning guidances. Tazbaz will head up the FDA Digital Health Center of Excellence, which will sit within the Office of Strategic Partnerships and Technology Innovation in the FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH).

Medisafe makes trio of appointments. Boston-based digital health and medication management company Medisafe has announced a new board chair, as well as some executive hires. Lyn O’Connor Vos, previously CEO of Grey Healthcare Group, will take over the board. Stacey Wasserman is in as chief business officer and Lyndi Hirsh will join as SVP of strategic marketing.

Corium Pharma Solutions rounds out C-Suite. Corium Pharma Solutions, a Grand Rapids, Michigan-based contract development and manufacturing organisation, has hired two more C-Suite executives, following up on its recent appointment of CEO Mark Sirgo in January. Kevin Ostrander and Dr Niraj Vasisht have joined the company as chief business officer and chief technological officer respectively.

Elixia hires CCO to drive growth. Tech-enabled clinical site organisation Elixia has named Sam Searcy as its new chief commercial officer. Searcy brings 10 years of life sciences leadership experience to the North Carolina-based outfit.

A new face at OSE. Oxford Science Enterprises, an independent investment vehicle aligned with Oxford University, brought onboard a new partner. Sanne de Jonghe previously worked with specialist transatlantic investor Gilde Healthcare, where she specialised in biotech.

He should be in pictures. NNIT, a Novo Nordisk spinout that supports a wide spectrum of pharma IT functions, announced that its head of production and laboratory, Thomas Halfmann, is leaving to pursue a career in photography. Marco Glauner, who joined the company last year through its acquisition of prime4services, will take over his role.

Two AI vendors build out advisory boards. Owkin and Absci, two companies partnering with pharma to improve drug development using AI, both made new appointments to their advisory boards. Over at Absci, they brought on two professors – Dr Victor Greiff of the University of Oslo and Dr Timothy Lu from MIT – as well as Dr Hubert Truebel, CMO at AiCuris. At Owkin, meanwhile, they tapped Dr Sean Khozin, whose impressive resume includes stints at Janssen and the FDA.

Agency and consultancy moves. In the broad ecosystem of marketing agencies and business consultants that make the wider pharma world tick, we saw several notable appointments:

  • Havas Lynx Group, a health communications agency under Havas Health & You, appointed Alex Okada as its new chief commercial officer. He comes via MullenLowe, where he did creative work for Bayer, among other companies.
  • Healthcare marketing and communications holding company Publicis Health UK added three new creative hires across its family of companies’ ranks: JP Racle as design director at communications agency Langlang; Matt Turrell as creative director at digital-first experience brand Digitas Health London; and Nanda Marth as creative director at creative agency Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness.
  • Tag Americas, a creative agency that works in pharma, has hired Dr Sharayu Maknikar as director of regulatory affairs for its Regulatory Center of Excellence, a centralised team of medical, legal, and regulatory experts that advise Tag’s pharma promotion work.
  • Over on the consulting side, KPMG UK announced the hire of Jenny Harte to lead its life sciences business in the EMEA region. Harte has a 25-year pharma career that includes time at Sanofi, Genzyme, Teva Pharmaceuticals, and Lundbeck.

Slew of medtech hires. We tracked a number of hires across the spectrum of the med-tech and medical device world.

  • Netherlands-based insulin pump maker ViCentra has appointed Leo Toole, who brings a wealth of pharma and medical device experience, to the post of chief financial officer.
  • Axogen, which makes products for peripheral nerve regeneration and repair, welcomed Jens Schroeder Kemp, previously of Ambu Inc, to its newly created chief marketing officer role.
  • Orchestra BioMed, which partners with medical device companies to drive global commercialisation, announced several additions to its leadership team: new hires, SVP Medical Affairs and Innovation Dr Avi Fischser and SVP Quality J.C. Simeon, and promotions for George Papandreou, now general manager and SVP of Focal Therapies, and Kunal Faldu, now VP of pharmaceutical development.
  • Medtech firm Siemens Healthineers has elected four new members to its supervisory board, as well as confirming a new chair. Those new members are Sarena Lin, Dow Wilson, Veronika Bienert, and Peter Körte. Meanwhile, Ralf P. Thomas, a returning member, will serve as the new chair with Karl-Heinz Streibich as deputy chair.
  • ARTIDIS, a clinical-stage diagnostics company, also made an appointment to its board of directors: Dr Ajit Singh, former CEOofBioImagene,SiemensOncology, andSiemensImagingSystems,is also amemberof the faculty at Stanford School of Medicine.

And that’s all the hire news that crossed our inboxes in February. If you’ve had a recent appointment and you work in or around the pharma space, we want to hear about it. Please send your press releases to to be included in future editions of Changing Faces.

[Image by StockSnap, sourced from Pixabay]