Bigg targets health practice in latest MHP shake-up
‘Action man’ CEO looks to restore MHP’s credentials in health lobbying.
MHP Communications CEO Alex Bigg has made two major changes to the agency’s health practice in the latest shake-up at the PR and lobbying agency.
The former Edelman public affairs chief has shifted health practice boss Rachel Rowson to a newly-created role as head of health innovation. She will focus on advising companies working in the fast-growing health technology space, with particular focus on the applications for big data, AI, digital consumer health.
At the same time, director Kate Pogson has been promoted to become head of MHP’s health practice where she will work closely with MHP’s managing director and top healthcare lobbyist Peter Digger.
The rejig is the latest attempt to restore MHP’s credentials in health lobbying after highly-respected health chief Mike Birtwistle left MHP in 2013 to set up a new shop, Incisive Health, with two colleagues. A year later MHP was hit by another senior departure from its health lobbying practice when joint head Rupert Gowrley joined Bupa as UK government affairs director.
Since joining MHP as CEO a year ago, Bigg has overhauled the agency with new hires including Nick Barron from Edelman as deputy CEO, Mike Robb from Cicero Consulting as head of financial services and former lobby journalist and Bell Pottinger partner Jamie Lyons as (joint) head of public affairs, while other seasoned lobbyists have recently left the firm. In acknowledgement of his endeavours, Bigg was recently awarded ‘Action man of the year’ in PAN's 2017 Stakeholder Awards.
On the latest movements, Bigg said: "I’m delighted that Rachel and Kate are leading MHP’s health practice at a time when we are looking to drive growth across the agency. Rachel has built a practice with a client list that is second to none; a team that I believe is one of the best in the industry; with revenues that mean we have become a top ten healthcare agency. Kate has all the qualities, and more, that I look for in a practice head. She is clever, ambitious, determined, creative and a natural leader."