Klick Health said today that two former managing directors, Ari Schaefer and Greg Rice, have been promoted to fill the role of president. The agency also announced a practice area expansion along with multiple senior-level hires in its policy, med-comms and other groups.
Klick CEO Lori Grant called the appointments of Schaefer and Rice “another chapter in the story of Klick, of our ongoing momentum and our ability to scale” the firm’s brand of client service.
On the decision to split up the role of president, Grant, who was promoted to CEO from president last August, said, “This is about making sure that we maintain that experience advantage.”
Both of the new co-presidents arrive with a wealth of experience, in managing director roles and elsewhere. Rice, a 25-year industry veteran who trained as a pharmacist, led Klick’s multi-disciplinary Katalyst team and previously worked for Eli Lilly and Havas Life. Schaefer, who brings 15 years of experience to his role, had directed one of Klick’s client success teams.
Klick also announced the debut of two new practices. Klick’s intelligence practice, designed to provide clients with a competitive advantage through enhanced knowledge of markets and customers, will be co-led by Keri Hettel and Meredydd Hardie, SVP and VP, intelligence, respectively. Hettel joins from Razorfish Health, where she led the firm’s research, data and analytics practice. Hardie most recently helmed the intelligence unit at Gravity Partners.
Klick’s new scientific innovation practice, tasked with developing new ways to engage healthcare professionals, is designed to complement Klick’s medical group. The practice lead of that unit, SVP, scientific innovation Tim Mitchell, PhD, comes to Klick after founding the London-based medical communications start-up Real Science, now part of Langland. He previously served as chief medical officer at Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness.
Elsewhere on the talent front, Klick’s policy and advocacy practice added two industry vets. Brandi Hight Bank, VP, policy and public health, previously held a number of public affairs roles at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ national vaccine program office, which leads and coordinates federal vaccine policy. Randi Goeckeler, the agency’s new VP, stakeholder coalitions, was formerly executive director, stakeholder relations at Allergan.
Klick also announced senior additions to its strategy and analytics and technology practices, including SVP, strategy January Coyle (previously with Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness) and VP, technology Jonathan Arsenault (previously with Accenture). They’re joined by VP, marketing analytics and integration David Albini (from Havas); VP, technology Brandon Grant (Oracle Cloud); VP, technology Peter Kulupka (Omnicom); and VP, technology/CRM Lenni Kwan (Race Roster).
Klick’s people practice also welcomed a number of seasoned hires, as part of an ongoing effort to evolve the company’s structural frameworks, processes and development plans.
“All of these people are on-board and already making such a tremendous difference to the solutions that we bring to our clients and helping them solve problems and bring great products,” Grant said.
Leerom Segal, group CEO, noted that the staff additions and organizational changes, revealed at a virtual town hall meeting in December, elicited tens of thousands of comments on the firm’s Slack channel – a “strong signal that the organization is excited and energized by by this evolution,” he said.
Klick’s North American revenue rose 20% in 2019 to an MM+M-estimated $345 million, from $287 million in 2018. Head count rose to 948 from 742 the year prior, according to MM+M’s 2020 Agency 100 report.