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Executive Summary

MCKESSON GOES OUTSIDE TO IBM FOR NEW PRESIDENT AND COO DAVID MCDOWELL, who assumes his new position on Jan. 13, McKesson announced Dec. 19. McDowell, 49, will succeed Rex Malson, 60, who is scheduled to step down on March 31. Malson will serve as McKesson vice chairman until his retirement. McDowell also was elected a member of the board. He will report to Chairman and CEO Alan Seelenfreund. McKesson also went outside the home-grown executive ranks in 1984 when it picked chain store exec Thomas Field as its topsider. Field resigned amidst storm clouds in September 1989 after differences over the future of the company ("The Pink Sheet" Sept. 11, 1989, T&G-9). At the time, the wholesale distributor and marketer was considering whether to sell its 86% interest in its PCS prescription claims processing business. The decision subsequently was made to keep PCS. Whereas McKesson looked to the retail side with the appointment of Field, the company is stressing the technology side of the highly competitive drug and health care product wholesale business with McDowell. Seelenfreund said McDowell's "approach to business and his management style are a good fit with the culture of McKesson." Commenting on the appointment, Seelenfreund said that McDowell's "experience and skills in logistics, distribution, information systems and customer service will enable us to meet the challenges we currently face in our businesses." McDowell spent nearly 30 years with International Business Machines, most recently as VP and general manager, quality and chief information officer. That post included oversight of IBM's domestic quality programs and information systems, McKesson noted. The wholesaler added that a "major part" of McDowell's career with IBM "involved the management of inventory, distribution and logistics. This included parts, hardware, software, supplies and publications."

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