Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE: MRK) today announced the appointment of Bridgette P. Heller as Executive Vice President and President, Consumer Health Care. Ms. Heller will succeed Stanley F. Barshay, who had postponed his planned retirement to serve in a transition role following the merger of Merck and Schering-Plough. Effective March 1, 2010, Ms. Heller, 48, will report directly to Richard T. Clark, Merck’s chairman, president and chief executive officer, and will serve on the company’s Executive Committee.
As leader of Consumer Health Care, Ms. Heller will leverage Merck’s consumer products brands to capitalize on new growth opportunities, including expanding the consumer business in markets outside the United States. Merck’s Consumer Health Care division is home to a variety of household names, including, among others, AFRIN, CLARITIN, COPPERTONE, DR. SCHOLL'S, MiraLAX and LOTRIMIN. Each day, millions of people count on one or more of Merck’s industry-leading brands that help prevent or treat various common conditions.
“We are extremely pleased to welcome Bridgette as the leader of our Consumer Health Care division,” said Mr. Clark. “While the Consumer Health Care business already has an established presence around the world, it also represents an attractive growth opportunity for Merck. Bridgette has an impressive track record of leading multi-billion dollar businesses, as well as exceptional marketing acumen, both of which will serve her well in leading growth initiatives for Merck’s consumer business.”
“This is an exciting time to join the new Merck, with its focus on the consumer health care sector,” said Ms. Heller. “I look forward to working with the talented team throughout this division to pursue growth through enhanced innovation, creative research and development and improved products in our Consumer Health Care business.”
Ms. Heller most recently served as President of Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Global Business Unit since 2007 and prior to that she was Johnson & Johnson’s Global President, Baby, Kids and Wound Care. While at Johnson & Johnson, Ms. Heller led a global team across all functions of the business unit with worldwide revenues of over $2.5 billion.
Before joining Johnson & Johnson Ms. Heller was founder and managing partner at Heller Associates from 2004-2005, where she provided consumer-centric growth strategies for companies outside of the traditional consumer packaged goods arena. Previously, Ms. Heller provided hands-on leadership as Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Chung’s Gourmet Foods, the second largest U.S. egg roll manufacturer. And before that Ms. Heller served as Executive Vice President and General Manager, Coffee Division at Kraft Foods, Inc. where she had full P&L responsibility for the largest coffee portfolio in the U.S. with $1.5 billion in revenues. In this capacity, Ms. Heller operated across multiple sales channels, including grocery, specialty retailers and direct-to-consumer and directed an internal organization of 500 employees across four manufacturing facilities, and an additional 550 employees from three outsourcing partners. Prior to that, Ms. Keller held a variety of managerial roles at Kraft since 1985.
Ms. Heller received an MBA from the J. L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University and received her B.A. from Northwestern University.
Today's Merck is working to help the world be well. Through our medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, and consumer and animal products, we work with customers and operate in more than 140 countries to deliver innovative health solutions. We also demonstrate our commitment to increasing access to health care through far-reaching programs that donate and deliver our products to the people who need them. Merck. Be Well. For more information, visit www.merck.com.
Forward Looking Statement
This news release includes “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements may include, but are not limited to, statements about the benefits of the merger between Merck and Schering-Plough, including future financial and operating results, the combined company’s plans, objectives, expectations and intentions and other statements that are not historical facts. Such statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of Merck’s management and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ from those set forth in the forward-looking statements.
The following factors, among others, could cause actual results to differ from those set forth in the forward-looking statements: the possibility that the expected synergies from the merger of Merck and Schering-Plough will not be realized, or will not be realized within the expected time period, due to, among other things, the impact of pharmaceutical industry regulation and pending legislation that could affect the pharmaceutical industry; the risk that the businesses will not be integrated successfully; disruption from the merger making it more difficult to maintain business and operational relationships; Merck’s ability to accurately predict future market conditions; dependence on the effectiveness of Merck’s patents and other protections for innovative products; the risk of new and changing regulation and health policies in the U.S. and internationally and the exposure to litigation and/or regulatory actions.
Merck undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Additional factors that could cause results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements can be found in Merck’s 2008 Annual Report on Form 10-K, Schering-Plough’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarterly period ended September 30, 2009, the proxy statement filed by Merck on June 25, 2009 and each company’s other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) available at the SEC’s Internet site: www.sec.gov.
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David Caouette, 908-423-3461
Alex Kelly, 908-423-5185