Senior Director, Brand Corporate Affairs, AstraZeneca
I started out as a cardiovascular primary care sales rep with Merck in the UK. During that time, the results of the landmark
4S study [Scandinavian Simvastatin Survival Study] made major news on front pages and broadcast outlets around the world.
That was my first real taste for what public relations could do and what it was all about. My agency experience really afforded
me the best opportunity to get to know our key stakeholder: the media.
I'm most proud of the work I've done on our cholesterol-lowering, atherosclerosis-slowing statin, Crestor. Specifically, the
work done by our brand corporate affairs team was a key reason AstraZeneca was able to shift its communications strategy from
one of a defensive posture to a more proactive, results-oriented approach. Ultimately, transparent communication of the scientific
data for Crestor helped prove the various allegations being made were indeed misleading and inaccurate. Now, thanks to a well-coordinated
awareness and education effort, Crestor is helping millions of patients lower their cardiovascular risk, and is the only branded
statin that continues to gain market share.
All leaders, at some point in their professional (and probably personal) lives, have operated under the philosophy of "if
you want it done right, do it yourself." I'm certainly no exception to that rule. Avoidance of micromanaging is the hardest
part of the transition from being a doer to being a manager. The team I've helped build and the agency partners in which I've
put my trust have made it easier for me to let go. Still, that doesn't just happen at the drop of a hat. It takes a great
deal of work to nurture and mentor a team to be ready to take on roles and responsibilities that you would otherwise handle