ELITE 2018 Entrepreneur Olivier Chateau of Health Union

Olivier Chateau

CEO and Co-founder

Health Union

Establishing a Social Presence

“Several years ago, I was working in an agency leading digital strategy across a variety of healthcare clients and Olivier Chateau, working at GSK, was one of them,” says Lauren Lawhon, COO at Health Union. “He was willing to champion new and innovative technologies, executions, and approaches within GSK—something we didn’t often find in a client. Doing anything for the first time in pharma requires advocacy, evangelism, and someone who is willing to do the work to push it forward. Olivier was that person: He was passionate about the work we were pioneering and he was persistent and fearless in making it happen.”

Olivier took that same passion and determination when he left GSK in 2010 to start Health Union, with the desire to help people live better with challenging health conditions. Health Union established large-scale online health communities in order to better leverage digital, social, and mobile technologies to help patients suffering from chronic conditions and, in that same vein, a better way to leverage that technology for clinical development, marketing research, and DTC advertising. Currently, Health Union owns and operates 18 condition-specific online ecosystems, such as MultipleSclerosis.net, LungCancer.net, and Type2Diabetes.com. At a time when many pharma marketers doubted the industry would ever be able to effectively engage patients via social media, Olivier was able to establish an entire business model—not just a content strategy and delivery system—with social engagement at its core.

As Health Union has grown, Olivier continues to have high standards, dissect future trends, anticipate the direction that markets are evolving, and find ways the company can take advantage of those trends. Whether that’s having the foresight to purchase web domains in up-and-coming therapeutic areas, to anticipating the evolution of Facebook’s algorithm, or discerning the nuances of how pharmaceutical marketing and media is changing. Just in the past year, Health Union marked 40% growth in its employees, 55% growth in the number of its online health brands, more than 75% growth in revenue, and 90% growth in web visits.

Recently, Health Union was named one of the Top Workplaces Philadelphia—ranking No. 1 in the small company category.


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