BRISTOL-MYERS SQUIBB NEW PRESIDENT CHARLES HEIMBOLD
BRISTOL-MYERS SQUIBB NEW PRESIDENT CHARLES HEIMBOLD, 59, was one of three corporate exec VPs, before apparently moving in line to be the next BMS Chairman. He has headed Bristol-Myers' medical device businesses since 1984 and the consumer products businesses since 1989. Bristol-Myers Squibb has been without a president since former Squibb Chairman Richard Furlaud retired in May 1991. BMS announced Heimbold's promotion on Oct. 7. In addition to his experience running two of the BMS core businesses, Heimbold has two decades of experience as the top corporate planning exec at Bristol-Myers. He joined Bristol in 1963 as a staff attorney and moved up to VP-planning and development in 1973. In 1981 he was named a Bristol-Myers senior VP. Heimbold's outside industry duties include a seat on the Health Industry Manufacturers Association board. The selection of Heimbold as president appears to make him the likely successor to BMS Chairman and CEO Richard Gelb, 68, who has set a June 1993 target for his retirement. Prior to the Squibb merger, Bristol-Myers had operated without a president for a decade, and the company is describing Heimbold's promotion as a recognition of merit rather than the filling of a vacancy. Heimbold was considered one of three contenders for the top spot at BMS along with his two fellow exec VPs: Wayne Davidson, 61, who is responsible for BMS pharmaceutical and nutritionals businesses; and Michael Autera, 54, the company's chief financial officer. While the promotion signals an orderly, phased transition of power at BMS, the retirement of Gelb will nevertheless be a landmark event for the firm, Gelb has been Bristol-Myers' chief executive since 1972. The three men and Gelb will form a "corporate executive office," the function of which "will be to determine the company's overall strategic direction, reinforce company values and take leadership in assuring that our key human, financial and technological resources are effectively developed and utilized," Gelb said in an Oct. 6 executive staff bulletin announcing Heimbold's appointment. Gelb credited Heimbold with leading BMS' device business "to significant growth and profitability as well as firmly establishing [it] as one of the four core businesses within the company." Bristol's device businesses include Zimmer and ConvaTec. In addition, Heimbold's corporate development department "has identified and managed the acquisition of a number of important growth opportunities for the company," Gelb said, adding that Heimbold has "been instrumental in the successful integration and restructuring of our consumer businesses into a global consumer products group." Consumer products subsidiaries include Clairol cosmetics and Drackett household products. Gelb moved up in the ranks of Bristol-Myers through the consumer products side. The management announcement precedes the release of Bristol- Myers Squibb's third quarter sales and earnings results, which is likely to occur around Oct. 15. The company's second quarter results were the subject of some controversy -- particularly the performance of the drug business. The company's delivery of the news to analysts undercut the financial community's confidence in the firm. On June 2, Autera revised downward company estimates of operating results made during an April 22 security analysts meeting, citing wholesaler pharmaceutical buying patterns as a cause of the downturn ("The Pink Sheet" June 8, p. 10).
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