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This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

UPJOHN VICE CHAIRMAN SMITH NAMED PRESIDENT AND CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER, and former president William Parfet is appointed vice chairman in a management shift announced April 14 in response to "a sudden deterioration in the medical condition" of Upjohn Chairman and CEO Theodore Cooper. As president and chief operating officer, Ley Smith will continue his current responsibilities for Upjohn's worldwide pharmaceutical business and will also assume CEO responsibilities in Cooper's absence. Parfet will continue to run the company's allied health businesses, worldwide manufacturing and finance. Smith, 58, joined Upjohn of Canada as a salesman in 1958 and subsequently rose through a variety of sales positions to become general manager of the company's Canadian operations in 1971. He was named division VP-Europe North in 1979 and group VP-Western hemisphere and Canada in 1984. Smith was appointed corporate VP and general manager for Upjohn International in 1988. At the end of that year, Smith was elected to the board and promoted to exec VP, along with Parfet and Mark Novitch, MD. Smith was named vice chairman Jan. 1, 1991, as was Novitch. In that same round of management changes, Parfet, 46, ascended to the Upjohn presidency, taking over some responsibilities from Cooper. Prior to becoming an exec VP in January 1989, Parfet was corporate VP for Consumer Products, HealthCare Services and Pharmaceutical Strategic Planning. From July 1984 until January 1988, he was corporate VP and treasurer. Parfet first joined Upjohn in 1973 and worked his way up through the executive ranks of the finance division. The executive changes were made at a special board meeting held April 14 following notification that Cooper had been moved into intensive care at the University of Virginia Medical Center the day before as a result of a lung infection and respiratory failure. Cooper, 64, was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in January and recently returned to the medical center for accelerated chemotherapy. He had gone back to work at Upjohn in early March following radiation and chemo treatment and six weeks of hospitalization. Cooper was listed in critical but stable condition at the end of the week of April 12. Cooper has held the chairman and CEO positions at Upjohn since July 1987, when Ray Parfet stepped down from active management. He first joined the company as exec VP in 1980, having been elected to the board of directors in 1978, and in 1984 was named vice chairman. Prior to joining Upjohn, Cooper held a variety of government and medical school positions. Cooper, an MD/PhD, has served as director of the National Heart, Blood and Lung Institute; deputy assistant secretary of health for the Department of Health, Education & Welfare; and assistant secretary for health at HEW. He also has been a professor at St. Louis University School of Medicine, the University of New Mexico School of Medicine, Cornell University Medical College and Rockefeller University. In 1977, Cooper was appointed dean of Cornell's medical school. Upjohn indicated that Cooper had some input in the management decisions made at the board's special meeting on April 14. William Mulholland, the senior outside member of the board's executive committee, noted: "We are fortunate . . . that we had the benefit of discussions with Dr. Cooper over the past few months in our deliberations today."

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