Weber Shandwick today announced it has added two leaders in key roles in the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) region. Malin Ljung Eiborn, a highly respected sustainability expert and former partner at Weber Shandwick Prime, will return to the agency to lead its Sustainability specialty in EMEA. John-Kenneth Billingsley, a seasoned brand-side executive who has held senior communications roles at GSK and Novartis, is joining as executive vice president, Health Policy and Advocacy, a new role and expanded focus within the agency’s Healthcare practice.
“Public health and environmental health are two of the most pressing global challenges facing society and therefore our clients and our agency, which is why I am thrilled we are adding two heavy hitters to help us deepen our strength in these areas,” said Susan Howe, Chief Growth Officer, Weber Shandwick. “John-Kenneth brings a wealth of policy, advocacy and corporate reputation experience honed at top global healthcare brands, and Malin is a sought-after expert with an impressive track record of accelerating sustainability leadership for some of the world’s most admired organisations.”
Based in Stockholm, Eiborn will be a catalyst for scaling Weber Shandwick’s portfolio of sustainability engagements across EMEA, working closely with regional and market leaders and leveraging expertise across key global practices including social impact, corporate and public affairs. An in-demand speaker and established expert on the Swedish and international sustainability scene, Eiborn has become a trusted advisor to numerous large corporations in building and implementing sustainability strategies at the core of their businesses. Most recently, as head of sustainability at BillerudKorsnäs, she led the multinational packaging company to be recognised by the Dow Jones Sustainability Index. Previously, Eiborn was partner at Weber Shandwick Prime for six years, where she helped to build the sustainability offering. Eiborn has also held roles at the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Stockholm and in Brussels, and she has a Master’s degree in EU law.
“The stakes for building a purpose-led business strategy with sustainability at the core couldn’t be higher for companies today – and effective communications are a critical element to the success of any sustainability plan,” Eiborn said. “I’m thrilled to be returning to Weber Shandwick at a time when the agency is doing some of the most impressive work in purpose and sustainability communications, and I look forward to applying all of the great creativity, insights and resources that we have across our network to make a true difference in the world.”
Led by Social Impact global lead Paul Massey, Weber Shandwick’s global sustainability specialty is fuelled by a cross-sectional team of social impact specialists rooted in purpose and Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) strategy, as well as experts in corporate reputation, public affairs, employee engagement and consumer marketing. The agency recently earned praise for two buzzworthy sustainability-focused campaigns in EMEA. For Swedish food brand Felix, the agency created The Climate Store – a pop-up supermarket where the listed ‘price’ of every item was its carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e). The concept ignited a conversation about the labelling of climate-friendly choices across social media and global news outlets. For Flora & Fauna International (FFI), Weber Shandwick sent a letter signed by more than 140 conservation groups to the United Nations Secretary-General in time for the UN Biodiversity Summit, urging member states to collectively commit an initial $500 billon to protect the natural world. FFI spokespeople including Sir David Attenborough, Dame Judy Dench and Stephen Fry all amplified the message.
Based in London, Billingsley will lead Weber Shandwick’s Health Policy & Advocacy offering, ensuring the delivery of high-impact global and pan-European public affairs and advocacy programmes and initiatives for health and pharmaceutical brands. He will also contribute to client work in the areas of Sustainability and Corporate Reputation Management.
Billingsley previously served as vice president and global head of external engagement for UCB, where he managed government affairs, public policy, patient advocacy and public-private partnership activities. In external affairs leadership roles at Novartis and GSK, he led cross-sector commercial partnerships that accelerated and expanded patient access to healthcare. Billingsley has served on the boards of several international industry organisations, including the Board of Vaccines Europe, the Council of International Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations and the International Section Executive Committee of Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.
“The global pandemic has helped to usher in greater awareness of the intersection of public health with issues like social justice and racial equity, and Weber Shandwick is ahead of the curve in innovating to offer cross-practice capabilities to address these key issues holistically,” Billingsley said. “I couldn’t be more energised to join Weber Shandwick at such a pivotal time for healthcare communications.”
Grounded in science, driven by insights and fuelled by creativity, Weber Shandwick’s Global Healthcare practice is one of the world’s largest healthcare communications consultancies, serving 15 markets in EMEA with hubs in London, Geneva, Frankfurt and Brussels. In EMEA, more than 300 health communications specialists — including PhDs, public health experts, consumer health advocates, public affairs, health policy, corporate and digital health specialists – work as a team to support clients across the pharmaceutical, medical device and biotech sectors as part of both regional and major global engagements.
The team’s work spans from health advocacy campaigns like “Love them, Hate Them. Check Them” – a effort to encourage breast self-exams for Breast Cancer Now – to developing an AI-powered digital health assistant for Novartis that connects Psoriasis patients with interactive, personalised health information. The practice recently launched a Health Equity offering to drive communications programmes that tackle the disparities in healthcare in support of underserved communities.