Med Ad News Industry Person of the Year

John Cahill 

Global CEO, McCann Health

McCann Health Global CEO John Cahill was recognized as the 2020 Industry Person of the Year at the Med Ad News 2020 Virtual Manny Awards on June 18th.

Under John Cahill’s leadership, McCann Health has emerged as one of the world’s leading professional and consumer health communications networks, continuing last year to take major strides worldwide in its three core pillars of creativity, science, and strategy. The network, which he leads as global CEO, today includes more than 60 offices in 20 countries and encompasses a wide range of global practices that includes strategic consulting, healthcare professional marketing, medical communications, consumer health and wellness, global health, and specialty practices like pharmacy, payer, and patient engagement.

Cahill has been pivotal in driving McCann Worldgroup’s overall growth in healthcare since the ad agency first launched its global diversified communications expansion in the mid-1990s. After McCann’s 1996 acquisition of CWFS, the healthcare agency he had co-founded in Australia and New Zealand, he began playing key roles in leading and building both the Asia Pacific and European healthcare regions as well as the medical communications operations before rising to become McCann Health’s Global CEO a decade ago. He had been an immunology researcher at the prestigious Kolling Institute before he entered the world of sales and marketing,

“I am very pleased that John has received this much-deserved recognition. Under his leadership, McCann Health has emerged as one of the world’s leading professional and consumer health communications network,” says Harris Diamond, chairman and CEO of McCann Worldgroup. “As such, McCann Health has been justly celebrated in the industry for its innovative business-building work and its overall success in growing with pharma and healthcare clients through its many areas of expertise. And I am sure as the collaborator that he is, he would want to share this distinction with the entire McCann Health team.”  

Under Cahill, the network’s strengths and achievements have been consistently global. At the 2019 Cannes Lions Health, McCann Health won Network of the Year for the third time in the last four years and MH Shanghai was named Health Agency of the Year. In addition to McCann Health being named the Most Awarded Network for the second straight year at the Creative Floor, MH India was named the Best Communications Agency. And at the London International Awards last year, MH Brazil was selected as the global Health Agency of the Year.

“Partnering with John is a pleasure as he brings high energy and excitement to each discussion,” says Candice Long, president of Infectious Diseases at Janssen. “His ability to shift from discussing broad global considerations to local immediate opportunities is remarkable.”

John Cahill

Based on his insights into the broad scope of healthcare today, he has championed the network’s capabilities expansion in a number of key areas, including global public health and science-based expertise. The Global Scientific Council that McCann Health created two years ago and continued to invest in and expand last year provides expert support across a wide range of therapeutic areas, including rare diseases, precision medicine and obesity. Its 450-plus strong community of PhDs, MDs, pharmacists and medical/scientific experts, is dedicated to bringing world-class, evidence-based science to pharma and healthcare clients and making complex science more accessible for all stakeholders.

Through Cahill’s abiding interest in public health, McCann Health’s public health agency, McCann Global Health, has worked closely with the USAID, GIZ, World Bank, PEPFAR, and the Clinton Global Initiative and created important health communications programs for UNICEF, J&J, and The Coca-Cola Company. McCann Health is also the only healthcare communications agency that sits on the UN’s Global Health Security Private Sector Roundtable that sets the agenda on significant topics, including pandemic preparedness.

An avid reader, Cahill never stops learning, whether on airplanes or in his home base in Hong Kong. He obsesses about McCann Health’s people, their careers, and their future, constantly talking with folks at all levels of the organization to learn as much as he can so that he can support them and the network’ s clients. In addition to achieving impressive business results, he has focused on building a unique culture based on the ethos that through tolerance and respect, his team will be able to understand more deeply how people live in different cultures and how that living influences their decisions in health management.