BASEL—Novartis has appointed Michele Galen as head of communications, reporting to chief executive Joseph Jimenez. Galen succeeds Sheldon Jones who retires and will transition to an advisory role for the company.

Galen joined Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation in the US in 2001, and since 2010 served as vice president and global head, communications and advocacy. During her tenure at Novartis, she also served as VP and global head, oncology affairs; VP and global head, communications and external affairs for Novartis Molecular Diagnostics; and vice president, corporate communications, for Novartis Pharmaceuticals.

She is also a co-founder of EWIN (Empowering Women to Impact Novartis), the company's women's leadership group that was recognized in 2008 by the Healthcare Business Women's Association.

Prior to joining Novartis, Galen was a managing director in the corporate practice at Burson-Marsteller, specializing in change communication, issue management and strategic philanthropy. She was also an editor for Business Week magazine, and an intellectual property attorney.

The Novartis corporate communications team has also been reconfigured. Eric Althoff becomes head of global external communications and global media relations. Jason Browning becomes head of global internal communications. Carrie Scott was appointed head of global corporate social responsibility communications. All will report to Galen, with Scott also reporting to George Gunn, head of Novartis Animal Health and CSR.