Draftfcb Healthcare named Joan Bercovitz EVP, managing director of Area 23.

Bercovitz replaces Renee Mellas in that role (she left in October for another opportunity, the agency said), and will run the shop with EVP, managing director and executive creative director Tim Hawkey. She reports to Dana Maiman, CEO and president of Draftfcb Healthcare.

Maiman said that in reviewing job candidates, she looked for four things: client background in sales and marketing, solid agency fundamentals, strong global account management experience and exceptional multi-channel/digital expertise. “In hiring Joan, we hit a grand slam plus one.”

Bercovitz joins the Draftfcb unit from Group DCA, where she was SVP, managing director of client services and project management. In that role she presided over the restructuring and training of client services and project management teams and developed global business strategy while driving business planning for 2011-2014. Before that she worked at Cline, Davis & Mann, heading the agency’s Novartis transplant and respiratory business, along with Pfizer brands including Lipitor, Caduet and Viagra. She started in pharma as a sales rep at Astra Pharmaceuticals and then as an account supervisor at Saatchi & Saatchi.

The Draftfcb spinoff has seen rapid growth in recent years, going from a staff of 75 in mid-2011 to 125 a year later, as well as some turnover in senior leadership. Hawkey and Mellas had replaced Mike Guarino as he ascended to a network role as strategic chief for Draftfcb in 2011.