Omnicom promotes Biolumina and H&S presidents to CEO

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Omnicom Health Group appointed Kirsten Kantak (left) and Mario Muredda (right) as the new CEOs of Biolumina and Harrison and Star, respectively.

Omnicom Health Group promoted the presidents of Biolumina and Harrison and Star to CEO, with Ty Curran becoming chairman of the two agencies.

Effective in January 2018, Biolumina's Kirsten Kantak and Harrison and Star's Mario Muredda will report to OHG CEO Ed Wise. The moves come as the two agencies become independent of each other and further integrated within OHG.

“We're no longer under Harrison and Star; we're a standalone agency,” Kantak said. “We've been working that way for some time and it essentially becomes official January 1.”

See also: Omnicom merges AgencyRx, Flashpoint and three other agencies to form DDB Health

The organizational change allows the agencies to better take advantage of the OHG infrastructure than a formal restructuring would, Muredda added.

Kantak joined Omnicom in 2003 as SVP and managing director of Harrison and Star, and has led Biolumina as president since 2015. In her new role, she will attempt to grow Biolumina's expertise in oncology by leveraging the OHG talent pool.

“This is about the individuals that work here, as well as the best-in-class expertise that OHG can bring to clients — whether it's media planning or technology and innovation,” Kantak said. “OHG offers clients a deep bench. We'll tap into it more fluidly to solve their brand challenges.”

See also: Omnicom formalizes health group led by CDM's Wise

Muredda joined Omnicom in 2009 as VP and associate director of business development at Cline Davis & Mann, and has held senior roles at sibling agencies AgencyRX and Harrison and Star. He became president of Harrison and Star in 2015.

In 2018, Harrison and Star hopes to expand its expertise in oncology, hematology, virology, and neurology while building out other areas. Muredda said to expect the agency to pursue growth in “everything from rheumatology and rare diseases to channel expertise — experiential personal platforms, data- and intelligence-driven non-personal platforms — and marketing expertise.”

The appointments are part of a succession plan that Curran put in place as he nears retirement, said Muredda. Beginning in January, Curran will report to Dale Adams, chairman and CEO of the DAS Group of Companies, a division of Omnicom Group.

See also: MM&M's top 100 healthcare agencies of 2017

Biolumina and Harrison and Star are based in New York. Biolumina's clients include Novartis, Genentech, and Agios Pharmaceuticals, while Harrison and Star's client roster includes Gilead Sciences, Merck, and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries.

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