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Michael J. Hennessy Jr., president and CEO of MJH Life Sciences™, parent company to Pharmaceutical Executive, named to MM&M’s second annual 40 Under 40 list.
Michael J. Hennessy Jr. is a man on a mission. The president and CEO of MJH Life Sciences™, was recently included in MM&M’s second annual 40 Under 40 list. The award celebrates inspiring young talent in various areas of pharma and healthcare marketing who are poised to lead the industry.
As a third-generation member of the family-run MJH Life Sciences™, healthcare has always been part of Hennessy Jr.’s life. But he hasn’t used his position to coast on the tailwinds provided him. Instead, he has fundamentally reinvented the largest privately held, independent, full-service medical media company in North America by innovating and investing in key growth areas.
Hennessy Jr. received his BBA in marketing from Loyola University Maryland and began his career as a national account’s manager at MJH Associates in 2010. From there, he took on several sales leadership roles, including the day-to-day management of OncLive®, Specialty Pharmacy Times®, and the Healthcare Specialty Group. In September 2015, he was elevated to president of the company. As president, Hennessy Jr. was responsible for identifying new business opportunities and driving the overall growth of the organization. Shortly after MJH Associates was rebranded as MJH Life Sciences™ in 2019, he was promoted to president and chief executive officer.
Since the beginning of his career, Hennessy Jr. has demonstrated his vision for creating new, engaging ways to serve healthcare professionals. As senior vice president of the Oncology Specialty Group, he relaunched OncLive.com, propelling the brand to new heights with a digital/video-first approach. He led the launch of a range of video offerings, such as Peer Exchange, Insights, and News Network video programs, that provided the Oncology audience more engaging content options.He then applied this successful model to other brands in the portfolio.
As president, Hennessy Jr. took the initiative to innovate the company’s events offerings, focusing on case-based learning, roundtables, regional seminar series, and award programs. These events built large audiences and gained credibility with industry leaders, further enhancing the MJH content creation model.
After overseeing sustained, organic growth, Hennessy Jr. further strengthened MJH by acquiring UBM Life Sciences Group in January 2019. The acquisition included the addition of seven new offices and more than 220 associates. Hennessy Jr. led the integration of the UBM assets, streamlining the company and focusing on reinvigorating the new brands to deliver on MJH’s vision of helping healthcare professionals improve patient care.
Most recently, Hennessy Jr. employed his visionary leadership to guide MJH through the COVID pandemic. He leveraged the company’s state-of-the-art studios to quickly pivot live events to virtual ones without missing a beat. As a result, the company produced a record number of events that included many new, innovative offerings. In June, MJH launched Medical World News®, a first-of-its-kind news channel for healthcare professionals. He then introduced the MJH Life Sciences™ COVID-19 Coalition, a partnership with healthcare thought leaders devoted to providing ongoing insight around the pandemic and patient care. MJH has steadily grown under Hennessy Jr.’s leadership to 60 brands, producing 975 events, and reaching 7.3 million unique visitors per month online and 2 million via print.
Most of Hennessy Jr.’s investment has been focused on growth areas of the healthcare industry. He’s created a platform to deliver unparalleled content to audiences in oncology, infectious disease, managed care, and pharmaceutical manufacturing, to name a few, and he continues to add new content where he envisions further growth. For example, the company is launching GeneTherapyLive™and Cannabis Patient Care™to support these areas of growth.
Hennessy Jr. has been agile in focusing on the modern ways audiences consume content, especially since the pandemic began. While continuing to publish MJH category-leading print magazines, his leadership has embraced a digital-first approach focused on well-designed, user-centric websites; video content and video series; podcasts; on-demand content and education; and even digital broadcast. He also led the creation of a state-of-the-art in-house digital studio.
The company’s use of leading-edge marketing approaches has also been a priority. Hennessy Jr. led the implementation of enterprise data and technology platforms that enable MJH’s businesses to drive even greater user-centric media practices. He’s embraced and enabled data-driven programming for MJH and its partners—from dynamic web and digital content delivery to automated, omnichannel journey creation to dashboards and analytics.
Beyond MJH, Hennessy Jr. has contributed to the industry at large by fostering and creating personal and content-based relationships with world-renowned key opinion leaders in the medical field and at leading universities, medical centers, hospitals, medical associations, and community cancer centers through MJH’s Strategic Alliance Partnership (SAP) program. The program provides its partners and doctors with a national reach and visibility, utilizing the breadth of MJH’s medical communications platform to showcase cutting-edge initiatives, content, research, and thought leadership that ultimately benefit patients and their families.
This past year, Hennessy Jr. capitalized on an opportunity to grow the business by elevating the SAP program by collaborating with health insurance companies such as Highmark Health and Oscar Health to expand its footprint in the managed care marketplace. Additionally, when forming the MJH Life Sciences™ COVID-19 Coalition advisory board, he leveraged his existing relationships with several top thought leaders across a variety of key specialties, including Dr. Angela Rasmussen, Dr. Saskia Popescu, and Dr. Paul E. Sax, to help generate the most accurate, up-to-the-minute information on the pandemic’s ever-evolving impact on healthcare professionals and the patients they treat.
Throughout the pandemic, Hennessy Jr. has donated and supported several organizations—the American Heart Association, NJ Pandemic Relief Fund, Princeton Medical Healthcare Heroes, Make-A-Wish NJ, National Medical Fellowships, Susan G. Komen Foundation, Feeding America, and many more. He also has volunteered his time at the RISE: Greater Goods Thrift Store in Hightstown, N.J.; HomeFront in Ewing, N.J.; and the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen (TASK).
Working alongside his father, brother, and cousins in the organization certainly qualifies Hennessy Jr. as a family man. Outside of the office, he loves spending quality time with his wife, Rachel, and two children, MJ and Maggie. He is a fitness aficionado who enjoys running and CrossFit. He also enjoys watching sports—specifically New York Yankees baseball. Relaxing to county music and enjoying the beauty of the Jersey Shore with friends and family is also time he cherishes.
Hennessy Jr. may have been born into the MJH Life Sciences™ business, but he’s reinvented it in his own image. And while he’s positioned the company for longstanding future growth, don’t expect him to rest on his laurels. He’s no doubt already thinking of ways to innovate the healthcare media landscape even further.