SYNTEX TAPS NEUREX CEO JAMES WILSON AS PRESIDENT AND CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER
SYNTEX TAPS NEUREX CEO JAMES WILSON AS PRESIDENT AND CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER, effective Jan. 1, 1991. The appointment marks Wilson's return to Syntex after nine years as CEO of two other health care companies, Neurex and Lifescan. Wilson will report to current CEO Paul Frieman, who was named chairman of the board of directors following the death of Albert Bowers, PhD, on July 26. Bowers had planned to retire July 31 because of failing health. Wilson, 46, joined Syntex Labs marketing staff in 1968 and later moved up to director of marketing. He was named president of the company's Ophthalmics division in 1977 and became president of the Beauty Care division in 1981. Wilson left Syntex in 1982 to join Lifescan as president and CEO. Lifescan, which markets glucose testing products for diabetics, was acquired by Johnson & Johnson in 1986. Wilson became chairman and CEO of Neurex in January 1989. The start-up R&D company was founded in 1986 to develop pharmaceuticals "by understanding and modifying the process of cellular communication," Neurex said. Freiman, 56, has been with Syntex since 1962, when he became a service rep for Syntex Laboratories. He has been president of Syntex Labs, as well as senior VP and exec VP of Syntex Corporation. Freiman is an executive committee member and treasurer of the PMA and chairman of the American Pharmaceutical Institute. A native of Manchester, England, Bowers received a BSc in chemistry from London University and a PhD in organic chemistry from the University of Manchester; he did postdoctoral work in the U.S. under a Fulbright Fellowship. Bowers joined Syntex in 1956 as a group leader in research. He became corporation president in 1976, CEO in 1980, and chairman of the board in 1981. The company experienced impressive growth with Bowers at the helm; sales grew from under $250 mil. when he took over as president to $1.3 bil. in 1989. During the same period, Wall Street's market valuation of Syntex has grown from $620 mil. to$6.9 bil. currently. Bowers served on the PMA board from 1972 to 1989, and was chairman from 1982 to 1983. He had been a director of the Clorox Company, the Business-Higher Education Forum, and the Rockefeller University Council; he also sat on the Advisory Board of the Beckman Center for History of Chemistry and the Executive Committee of the Bay Area Council. In addition, he was a founding member of the board of trustees of the University of California San Francisco Foundation. Frieman had assumed Bowers' responsibilities as CEO on Aug. 1, 1989, after Bowers had requested a reduction in his daily workload. Syntex said at the time that Bowers had been receiving medical care "for some time for a cardiovascular condition" ("The Pink Sheet" Feb. 27, 1989, T&G-7).
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