Havas has hired a longtime WebMD exec to lead Havas Life New York.

Dorothy Gemmell, who was SVP, sales and sales operations at WebMD, becomes president of the agency, which was formerly known as Euro RSCG Life MetaMax.

Gemmell spent 13 years at WebMD, where she sat on the executive leadership committee. In her most recent role there, she led WebMD’s global biopharmaceutical and medical device businesses, along with WebMD The Magazine and its sales, revenue and advertising operations groups.

Gemmell got her start in healthcare marketing at Upjohn in 1989. She calls herself a career “serial monogamist” – by the time she left ten years later, the company, now part of Pfizer, was called Pharmacia and she was working in global marketing. She joined MedScape, a client from her Pharmacia days.

She takes over at Havas’ most global shop. More than two-thirds of Havas Life New York’s business involves ex-US work. “They’ve been really successful at diversifiying the brands they work with,” she said, “and there’s a huge opportunity to continue that growth path.”

Her availability, said global CEOs Doug Burcin and Donna Murphy in a statement, “presented us an opportunity to bring in a fresh leadership perspective.”

Gemmell replaces a team of co-managing directors, Laurel Rossi and Marc Porter, at the shop. Rossi is back to running the agency she founded and sold to Havas, Strat Farm, full time, while Porter has left the company.