WE Strengthens Health Sector Leadership

— WE 



SYDNEY — 1 MARCH 2021 — WE Communications (WE), a leading independent global integrated communications firm, today announced Gemma Hudson as executive vice president of Health Innovation and Growth. Under her new purview, Hudson is charged with accelerating sector growth opportunities and cementing the agency’s health sector proposition in Australia and across the Asia Pacific region.

“Gemma is an exceptional global health leader and has been instrumental in developing the agency’s health practice in Australia and leading international, cross-market client relationships within the agency’s network,” said Rebecca Wilson, executive vice president, Singapore & Australia, WE. “Her wealth of sector knowledge and client leadership experience makes her the ideal leader to propel our health team’s growth and development in Australia, and regionally.”

Hudson is a seasoned health communications expert with over two decades’ experience across PR and medical education programmes. She has spent the past eight years at WE, most recently as CEO of Australia. Before joining WE, she established Haystac’s national health care offering, which she ran for four years, and spent time at Edelman and Burson Marsteller. Her experience spans prescription and consumer health, medical technology and not-for-profit organisations, and saw her working with leading health companies, including Bayer, GE, GSK, Janssen, Jenny Craig, Pfizer and Sanofi.

Hudson will partner closely with global health sector and market leaders to identify and pursue new business opportunities, as well as nurture relationships and growth with existing clients. She reports to Wilson and will work in close partnership with Emma David, director of health, Australia, Dan Woods, managing director, Australia, and WE’s APAC leadership team.

On her appointment, Hudson shared, “The ongoing global health crisis has spotlighted the important role health plays not only in the lives of individuals, but the impact it can have on businesses and countries. While COVID-19 has dominated the conversation over the past year, health concerns, including chronic diseases, health literacy, patient engagement and access to treatment, remain critical areas that still need to be prioritised. I look forward to working with our clients and teams on these challenges today, and in the future.”

In Australia, WE’s health and wellness practice accounts for over one-third of the agency’s business. Client partnerships span consumer health, pharmaceuticals, biotech, digital health and medical devices, and include brands such as Alcidion, ANDHealth, Bayer, ICON, Novo Nordisk, Seqirus, Vaxxas and ViiV Healthcare. New remits from leading health companies such as AstraZeneca, Bioage Labs, Cogstate, Hearing Australia, Janssen and Medlab have bolstered the practice’s growth. A combination of sectors and communications craft specialists makes up the team, providing clients with integrated communications, such as creative, strategy, digital, social and corporate communications, to address opportunities in the current health environment.

WE has also appointed Dan Woods as managing director to fill Hudson’s previous role as WE’s Australian market leader. Woods joined the agency in early 2020 on an interim basis and has since assumed the position permanently. Before joining WE, he was executive general manager for brand and business development for Bolton Clarke, one of Australia’s largest independent aged care and health services providers. Woods oversaw the development and delivery of the unified Bolton Clarke brand, following the merger of RSL Care and RDNS.  

“Dan has been a stabilising force in a difficult year. His leadership through the recent environmental, health and economic crises has brought us resiliency and created a strong foundation for a positive year ahead,” said Wilson.