Jonathan Wilson, president of health, life sciences and public affairs firm Spectrum Science Communications, will now also hold the dual title of chief executive officer.

Wilson’s appointment was announced today by Spectrum founder John J. Seng, who formerly wore the CEO title and will remain onboard as chairman. Seng, who founded the Washington, D.C.-based agency in 1996, will also remain chair of international health and science agency network GLOBALHealthPR, which he founded in 2001.

Seng told O’Dwyer’s that Spectrum’s leadership is currently in the midst of a succession plan that he described as a “calculated, strategic internal sale,” wherein the agency would remain independent while ownership would gradually be ceded to "a mix of owners" over the next two years, with Wilson at the helm.

Seng told O’Dwyer’s that by January 2019, he expects to have “moved out of the picture,” and plans to dedicate more time thereafter to non-profit work.

SpectrumSpectrum Science Communications founder and chair John J. Seng (left), with president and CEO Jonathan Wilson.

Wilson, who holds a BS in molecular biology and was previously president of inVentiv unit Chamberlain Healthcare PR, joined Spectrum in early 2014 to fill the president slot. The agency has expanded considerably in that time, posting 33 percent year-over-year growth in 2014 and a whopping 83.5 percent surge in healthcare-related net fees last year.

Wilson this year was also named president of GLOBALHealthPR, which maintains 16 partner agencies in 42 countries and is headquartered in New York, with regional offices in London and Singapore.

Seng said Wilson’s new title at the healthcare firm essentially formalizes a role he’s already been playing for the past two years, managing Spectrum on both a day-to-day basis while also shaping the firm’s long-term growth strategy.

“Jonathan has more than proven his abilities as a leader, innovator and visionary with an understanding of life sciences from a strategic standpoint and on a global scale,” Seng told O’Dwyer’s. “With Jonathan’s arrival two years ago he brought to the table not only new relationships but also a vision and an understanding of how the PR business is transforming itself, and we’ve catapulted from a high-quality organization with a steady track record over the years to what I’d describe as an upper tier organization.”

Spectrum, which opened new offices in New York and Atlanta in 2015 and a Chicago outpost in September, celebrates its 20th anniversary this year.