MERCK CONSUMER HEALTHCARE GROUP PRESIDENT RONALD AHRENS
MERCK CONSUMER HEALTHCARE GROUP PRESIDENT RONALD AHRENS will oversee Merck's consumer products joint venture with Johnson & Johnson in the newly-created post. The joint venture had been headed by former Consumer Healthcare Group VP and General Manager G. Theodore Mascott, who in August was named Merck VP-business planning and administration. Ahrens was previously senior VP, Europe and CANLAA (Canada, Latin America and Africa). He joined Merck in mid-1990 from Bristol-Myers Squibb where he was the Consumer Group president for North America. With Ahrens' appointment, "emphasis will now be placed on enhancing the organization's worldwide capabilities" and product development, Merck said. The J&J-Merck Consumer Pharmaceuticals joint venture recently expanded its European presence with the purchase of certain assets of the German OTC company Woelm Pharma from Rhone-Poulenc Rorer ("The Pink Sheet" May 27, In Brief). That purchase was completed on Oct. 22. Ahrens' promotion to the joint venture top post was among a flurry of executive appointments announced by Merck so far in October and is a continuing outgrowth of Merck's corporate reorganization plan outlined in March. Other recent executive appointments include Robert Glaser to VP-sales & marketing for Merck's recently-created Vaccine Division, C. R. Hogan to executive director of public affairs; and Joachim Steinert to VP-mid-Europe, for Merck's Human Health Division. Glaser, who most recently was Merck's executive director of marketing, will coordinate the company's worldwide sales and marketing of in-line and new vaccine products. Hogan will add his expanded corporate communications duties to his direction of Merck's corporate contributions activities, The Merck Company Foundation and The Merck Archives. Steinert will oversee Merck's human health business in the Benelux, Switzerland, Austria, Portugal, Greece and Israel.
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