BRISTOL-MYERS SQUIBB EXEC-VP DAVIDSON TO HEAD CONSOLIDATED DRUG BUSINESSES
BRISTOL-MYERS SQUIBB EXEC-VP DAVIDSON TO HEAD CONSOLIDATED DRUG BUSINESSES following the departure of Squibb President Jan Leschly, who resigned Oct. 12. "All of the company's pharmaceutical operations will now report" to Wayne Davidson, Bristol-Myers Squibb said in a press release announcing the executive changes. Leschly and Davidson previously had been at an equal level in the operation, heading the separate Squibb and Bristol-Myers drug businesses. Both had been recently named to the new merged board. Leschly resigned "to pursue opportunities outside the company," the release states. Although the "merger of Bristol-Myers and Squibb provides outstanding potential for both employees and shareholders" Leschly explained, "the combination of the two companies makes it difficult for me personally to realize my own career objectives." He continued: "the near-term personal goals that I had hoped to achieve at Squibb as an independent company are not realistic within the same timeframe with Bristol-Myers Squibb." Leschly's resignation was stated in terms of his personal ability to move up within the new organization. However, the effect of his departure on the autonomy of the Squibb units may be more important. Having a single executive from the Bristol-Myers side in charge may create a greater push to meld the operations together. Former Squibb CEO Richard Furlaud maintains a title with top-level oversight of the drug business. However, the companies announced at the time of the merger proposal in July that they intended to begin a comarketing arrangement immediately. That arrangement has not yet begun. Davidson will add to his previous responsibilities the purview of those group heads formerly under Leschly. They include Squibb Pharmaceutical Group President Kenneth Weg; Squibb Managed HealthCare Group President William Weathersby; and Squibb Worldwide Business Development Senior VP Alan Brosof, MD. Continuing to report to Davidson will be Bristol-Myers U.S. Pharmaceutical and Nutritional Group President Raymond Egan and Bristol-Myers International Group President Joseph Maroun. A new organization also will report to Davidson: Bristol-Myers Squibb Technical Operations, headed by Abramo Virgilio, current president of the Bristol-Myers Science and Technology Group. Reporting to Virgilio as exec-VP technical operations will be current Squibb Technical Operations President Louis DiFazio, PhD. Davidson will continue to report directly to Furlaud. Also reporting to Furlaud will be Squibb Institute for Medical Research President Edgar Haber, MD, and William Comer, PhD, who is moving from exec-VP of the Bristol-Myers Science and Technology Group to the new position of president of Bristol-Myers' Pharmaceutical Research and Licensing Group.
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