In Memoriam: Michael J. Hennessy Sr., Founder, MJH Life Sciences™

Pharmaceutical Executive, Pharmaceutical Executive-01-01-2022, Volume 42, Issue 1

Michael J. Hennessy Sr., beloved chairman and CEO of MJH Life Sciences, parent company of Pharmaceutical Executive, recently passed away.

Hennessy spent his career turning his passion for building businesses and creating jobs into a run of successful ventures and brands. Following his graduation from Rider University in 1982, he started his career in medical publishing as a sales trainee. In 1986, Hennessy became chief operating officer of Medical World Business Press, which was part of the launch of medical newspapers and media products. The company prospered and was eventually sold to a Boston-based venture capital firm.

Hennessy launched Multimedia Healthcare, LLC, in 1993 and built a portfolio of award-winning clinical journals. In 2001, Freedom Communications, Inc., acquired Multimedia Healthcare. At the time, Hennessy was pioneering a new approach to publishing with Intellisphere, LLC (now part of MJH Life Sciences). Guided by the principles of innovation and entrepreneurial spirit, and reflecting its founder’s dedication to improving quality of life through healthcare research and education, Intellisphere publishes integrated print and digital products focusing on a range of topics in research and clinical medicine.

To build a comprehensive multimedia and education platform, Hennessy added additional companies and capabilities to the MJH Life Sciences portfolio. In 2004, he acquired Healthcare Research Analytics, a leader in healthcare market research for over 30 years. In 2005, Hennessy acquired ArcMesa Educators, LLC, leaders in online certification for healthcare professionals.

In February 2008, Hennessy acquired the journals Pharmacy Times and The American Journal of Managed Care, both recognized in their respective markets as authoritative, trusted media platforms. In April 2011, MJH Life Sciences acquired Physicians’ Education Resource, LLC (PER), an accredited continuing medical education company that is an industry leader in producing high-quality oncology and hematology meetings and conferences. The PER acquisition included multichannel enduring educational activities and the rights to legacy medical meetings, including the annual Miami Breast Cancer Conference.

Hennessy’s commitment to improving the lives of patients with cancer is deeply rooted within the halls of MJH Life Sciences. As a complement to the industry-leading OncLive platform, he developed the Giants of Cancer Care awards to recognize the leaders and pioneers who often go unrecognized for their contributions to advancing oncology care. He further strengthened his commitment to education by acquiring CURE Media Group in 2014, followed by the purchase of the Chemotherapy Foundation Symposium, in his quest to provide oncology professionals with focused education on innovative cancer therapy.

In 2019, MJH Life Sciences made its largest acquisition to date when it acquired the Healthcare and Industry Sciences divisions of UBM Medica, doubling its size and adding legacy titles such as Medical Economics and Pharmaceutical Executive to its already impressive portfolio. This acquisition made the organization the largest independently owned medical communications company in North America.

Later in 2019, Hennessy elevated his own role to chairman while naming his sonMichael J. Hennessy Jr. to assume the leadership role of the organization and carry on the family legacy. Under his son’s leadership, the company enhanced its global potential by entering into a long-term partnership with BDT Capital Partners, LLC, in November 2021.

Due to his broad business and educational experience, and knowledge of challenges in New Jersey, Hennessy’s counsel and insight had been sought by several organizations, including his alma mater Rider University, where he served on the Board of Trustees and was elected to the executive committee.

Hennessy was preceded in death by his wife, Patrice Hennessy, who bravely battled cancer for almost 10 years until her death in January 2020. Hennessy donated $4 million to Rider University to expand the Science and Technology Center at their alma mater. The Mike & Patti Hennessy Science and Technology Center is set to be completed in 2022.