Paul Newman to lead Takeda's vaccines comms

Paul Newman
Paul Newman

Former MSLGroup North America president Paul Newman has been appointed head of communications for the vaccine business unit at Takeda.

Based in Cambridge, Mass., Newman will lead internal and external communications, working closely with leadership in the unit and across Takeda. He started work last Monday and reports to Rajeev Venkayya, president of Takeda's global vaccine business unit.

In his 25-year career, Newman has led in-house communications teams for Fortune 500 companies including Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics (during the H1N1 pandemic in 2009), eBay and Gillette–before and after its $57 billion acquisition by Procter & Gamble.

As well as MSLGroup, he also worked at Weber Shandwick on the agency side for 14 years. Prior to MSL, he was VP of communications for eBay.

"I'm thrilled to be working alongside inspirational leadership in a global communications role for a company with a strong sense of purpose," said Newman.

Takeda's global head of corporate communications is Jeff Cross, who is based in Japan and reports to Haruhiko Hirate, SVP of corporate communications and public affairs.

The main agency partner for Takeda's vaccines business is Weber Shandwick, and vaccines currently in development include products to combat global health problems such as dengue and norovirus. It also operates in the field of influenza.

As well as its vaccines unit, Takeda operates in core therapeutic areas including cardiovascular and metabolic, oncology, central nervous system, respiratory and immunology and general medicine (gastrointestinal and genitourinary).

Takeda established its global vaccine business division in January 2012 to expand its contributions to public health in Japan and the rest of the world. It has been operating in Japan for over 60 years.

Newman stepped down as MSLGroup's president of North America at the start of August. At the time, the agency's then CEO Olivier Fleurot told employees Newman left the Publicis Groupe firm to be closer to his family in Boston.

Before he joined MSL in March 2014, he told PRWeek he would live in New York City during the week and commute to his Boston home on weekends.

This story originally appeared in PRWeek.