Perrigo's Roehrhoff steps down after 10 months

Perrigo's Roehrhoff steps down after 10 months
Murray Kessler is a former chief executive officer and president of the Lorillard Tobacco Company

11 October 2018 - Deborah Wilkes

Uwe Roehrhoff has stepped down as Perrigo's president and chief executive officer just 10 months after taking up the post.

Roehrhoff has been replaced by Murray Kessler, former chief executive officer and president of the Lorillard Tobacco Company, with immediate effect. Kessler is the company's fourth chief executive officer in three years.

Perrigo said Kessler's experience was aligned with the company's consumer-focused strategy and commitment to separation of its Prescription Pharmaceuticals business.

Focusing on consumer healthcare

In August 2018, Perrigo announced plans to split off its Prescription Pharmaceuticals unit and focus on its two consumer healthcare businesses (click here to read the News story).

The company's two consumer healthcare businesses generated 82.5% of Perrigo's sales in the second quarter of 2018. They have annual sales of around USD4 billion.

The news came as Ireland-based Perrigo, which has struggled in recent years, reported worldwide sales down by 4.2% to USD1.19 billion in the second quarter of 2018. Excluding portfolio changes and at constant currencies, sales were down by 4.0%.

Commenting on Kessler's appointment, Perrigo's chairman Rolf Classon said he joined the company with "more than 30 years of leadership experience in growing consumer products companies and managing businesses in a regulated environment".

Classon added that Kessler had "advanced corporate strategy through innovation, inorganic opportunities and continued portfolio improvement".

Kessler was chairman and chief executive officer of Lorillard Tobacco Company from 2010-2015. Prior to joining Lorillard, he worked for tobacco company Altria, Campbell Soup Company, The Clorox Company and Vlasic Foods International.

Perrigo said Roehrhoff would remain available to ensure a smooth transition.

Four chief executives in three years

Roehrhoff joined Perrigo on 15 January 2018 from packaging specialist Gerresheimer where he was chief executive officer (click here to read the News story).

He took over from John Hendrickson who announced in June 2017 that he was retiring as chief executive officer just over a year after taking up the post. Hendrickson was promoted to chief executive officer in April 2016 after Joseph Papa moved to Valeant Pharmaceuticals International.

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