SMITHKLINE BEECHAM CONSUMER BUSINESS SEARCHING FOR NEW U.S. PRESIDENT
SMITHKLINE BEECHAM CONSUMER BUSINESS SEARCHING FOR NEW U.S. PRESIDENT in wake of the May 3 announcement of the early retirement of Charles Pergola. The recently combined SmithKline and Beecham consumer operations in the U.S. will be headed during the search period by Peter Glynn-Jones, the managing director of the consumer business worldwide. As the top operating executive for the $1.96 bil. worldwide SmithKline Beecham consumer brands business, Glynn-Jones is stationed in London. He reports to the chairman of the consumer brands business, John Hunter. Glynn-Jones has had previous experience directly in charge of the U.S. business during a stint as president of Beecham's U.S. operations in the mid-1980s. Pergola has overseen the merger of three operations into the current $700 mil. SmithKline Beecham U.S. consumer business. A 32-year veteran of the U.S. OTC business, Pergola was president of the Revlon subsidiary Norcliff Thayer when it was sold to Beecham in late 1985. He headed the operation through that merger. Beecham previously had shown a penchant for wholesale replacement of existing managements after acquisitions. In 1988, Pergola moved up to president of Beecham Products USA and headed the effort to blend the Norcliff Thayer operations (Oxy, Tums) with Beecham's (Aqua-Fresh, N'Ice, Sucrets) consumer business in Pittsburgh. As that program was completed in April 1989, the task of bringing the SmithKline consumer business into the fold devolved to Pergola. By the end of 1989, Pergola was running a business more than three times larger by volume than the Norcliff Thayer operations that he headed two years previously. Pergola, 56, is taking early retirement and intends to stay active in the U.S. health care business. A pharmacist, Pergola was chairman of the Nonprescription Drug Manufacturers Association (1983-1985) and a board member of both that association and the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association. The current chairman of NDMA is also a SmithKline Beecham Consumer Products exec, Vice-Chairman William Learnard. The Beecham search effort for Pergola's replacement indicates that Learnard is not slated to move from Philadelphia to head up the combined operations. Learnard is understood to be an investor in the recent purchase of 32 OTC brands from SmithKline Beecham by three former executives with funding through Warburg Pincus. The new company will be called WKW after the initials of the purchasing management members (Lawrence White, Greg Kearl, and Walter Witoshkin) ("The Pink Sheet" April 16, T&G-3). The relaunched line reportedly will be called by the old Menley & James name used by SmithKline for its consumer business until 1983. Although Learnard is an investor in WKW, he will not participate directly as part of the WKW management. He reportedly intends to stay active in the industry as a consultant when he leaves SmithKline Beecham.
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