AHP PRESIDENT IS CANAVAN: ALL WYETH-AYERST OPERATIONS TO BE HEADED BY HASSAN
AHP PRESIDENT IS CANAVAN: ALL WYETH-AYERST OPERATIONS TO BE HEADED BY HASSAN in a top management realignment at American Home Products announced May 31. Bernard Canavan, MD, is moving into the second management spot at the AHP corporate level after 21 years with AHP's ethical drug business. Canavan has been chairman of the combined Wyeth and Ayerst operations since August 1987. Reporting to Canavan will be all operating units of AHP including worldwide manufacturing and marketing of prescription drugs, medical devices and supplies (Sherwood Medical), OTC medications (Whitehall Labs) and food products. Non-operating functions, including finance, administration, industrial relations and law, will continue to report directly to AHP CEO and Chairman John (Jack) Stafford. Canavan, a direct-spoken Scot, headed the Wyeth operations before the merger of the two AHP ethical drug businesses in 1987. He has been at AHP since 1969, holding management positions with Wyeth International and Wyeth Ltd. (Canada). Before entering the pharmaceutical industry, Canavan practiced medicine in Toronto for eight years after receiving his medical training at the University of Edinburgh. Stafford has held both the AHP chairmanship and presidency since 1986. He had been president of the company since 1981. With Stafford, 52, and Canavan, 54, holding the top two slots, AHP boasts an experienced and youthful top management team. The company has a legendary record of stable operating performance and management going back to the previous administrations of William Laporte and John Culligan. Responsibility for Wyeth-Ayerst R&D, which formerly reported to Canavan, moves to Wyeth-Ayerst President Fred Hassan. As president of Wyeth-Ayerst, Hassan will continue to report to Canavan. Hassan formerly headed the Sandoz U.S. drug operations before being recruited as Wyeth-Ayerst's president in February, 1989. AHP is letting Canavan's previous title of Wyeth-Ayerst chairman lapse for the time being. Canavan's election to the AHP presidency "symbolizes" the company's tightening focus on healthcare, according to the firm's press release. AHP has trimmed back its non-health operations in recent years and the firm now boasts that 85% of its overall sales are healthcare-related. The growing emphasis on healthcare was similarly reflected in AHP's early 1990 sale of most of its worldwide household products business (Boyle-Midway) for $2.5 bil. to Reckitt & Colman, plc. ("The Pink Sheet" March 12, T&G-14) and in its 1989 consolidation of control over A. H. Robins at end of 1989. The healthcare focus of the business is also exemplified by the direct attention paid by Stafford to pharmaceutical industry issues. Stafford, who was a major participant in the intra-industry debate over the Waxman-Hatch Act in 1984, is on track for the top position in the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association beginning in April 1991.
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