WebMD had to go all the way up to 42nd Street to find its new CEO, Pfizer honcho Cavan Redmond.
Redmond was group president, Animal Health, Consumer Healthcare and Corporate Strategy at Pfizer – a gig that should give him some insight into both the consumer- and healthcare professional-facing sides of WebMD's business, as well as a keen understanding of what the site's advertisers want.
“As the biopharmaceutical commercial model continues to evolve, WebMD can capitalize on these changes,” said Redmond in a statement. “WebMD's digital reach to consumers and physicians is an important part of the industry's communications infrastructure and as the healthcare industry undergoes significant changes, there is tremendous opportunity for WebMD to better enable patients and physicians to engage with one another.”
Though still the biggest brand in online health, WebMD increasingly has company, from close competitors like Everyday Health to the raft of young and hungry startups looking to upend the more established players through video and mobile-centric offerings. Redmond's predecessor, longtime CEO Wayne Gattinella, resigned
in February amid flagging ad sales and an aborted plan to sell the company. The dearth of new drug launches has hurt the firm, as has competition for consumer advertising from ad networks and social media players.
WebMD's brands include the eponymous consumer portal as well as Medscape, MedicineNet, emedicineHealth, RxList, theheart.org and Medscape Education.