Wunderman named Becky Chidester to head up its global healthcare operations.
Chidester, who was previously president of Wunderman New York, will lead the WPP direct shop's worldwide health offering as president, Wunderman World Health, a new position. She will be based in Washington, DC, reporting to chairman and CEO Daniel Morel.
She will be supported by a core strategic team of health care experts from New York and Singapore as well as Wunderman network partners KnowledgeBase Marketing and RTCRM, the shop said.
“My first order of business is to unite all the diverse healthcare capabilities within Wunderman,” said Chidester. “I'm looking at healthcare from a fairly wide angle.”
The elevation of Chidester, who comes to the job with a strong public policy background, is indicative of the growing importance of government relations and managed markets to the business.
Chidester started her career as a staffer for Indiana Senator Birch Bayh, before moving on to work for a chemical manufacturer's trade association and then heading Reese Communications. After Reese was acquired by WPP, it was folded into RTC Relationship Marketing, which in turn fell under the Wunderman umbrella.
Wunderman has created similar practice leader positions for its automotive and Microsoft businesses. Previously, leadership fell to individual offices, said a spokesman.
Headquartered in New York, the network's health offering includes data, direct and digital marketing for pharmaceuticals, health insurance, services and devices, OTC drugs and nutritional supplements, eye care and wellness products.