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Valeant makes changes to executive team

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LAVAL, Quebec — Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. has instituted a series of leadership and organizational changes, including an expansion of its executive committee and the duties of some senior executives.

Valeant said Christina Ackermann has joined the company as executive vice president and general counsel of Valeant, succeeding Robert Chai-Onn, who will be leaving Valeant after a transition period. For the past 14 years, she served in various legal roles at Novartis, most recently as senior vice president and general counsel for Alcon.

“We are fortunate to have Christina as our new general counsel,” Valeant chairman and chief executive officer Joseph Papa stated. “Her qualifications and track record of dealing successfully with complex legal and compliance issues make her an ideal addition to the Valeant team, and I am confident that she will provide sound counsel and support to our business leaders around the world.”

Also joining Valeant is Scott Hirsch, in the role of senior vice president of business strategy and communications. A veteran investment professional with a deep knowledge of the specialty pharmaceutical industry, he comes to the company from Citadel Investment Group, where he oversaw equity investments and risk management decisions in the health care sector at Surveyor Capital.  Earlier in his career, he was in the investment banking group of Credit Suisse as the lead equity research analyst covering specialty pharmaceuticals and generics.

“I have known Scott for many years — both as an investor and an analyst — and I think he is an extraordinary addition to the Valeant team,” Papa commented. “His insights into the sector and knowledge of Valeant’s businesses will be invaluable as we take further action to stabilize and transform the company.”

Valeant also announced that Laurie Little, who has led the investor relations and public relations functions for the past nine years, will be leaving the company in the coming months and that Pavel Mirovsky, president and general manager of Europe, will retire later this year.

To better align its organizational structure with its growth strategy, Valeant has also made some changes and promotions that expand the roles of key senior leaders.

Anne Whitaker will serve as executive vice president and company group chairman and lead the branded pharmaceuticals businesses, including Salix, dermatology, Dendreon, Orapharma and women’s health, as well as Canada and U.S. market access and commercial services.

Also named executive vice president and company group chairman were Ari Kellen, leading the Bausch + Lomb business, and Tom Appio, overseeing all of Valeant’s markets outside the United States and Canada.

Valeant, too, has expanded its executive committee by adding leaders from several key business and functional areas of the company. They include Dennis Asharin, senior vice president of manufacturing and supply chain, who will assume responsibility for these functions globally; Joe Gordon, senior vice president and general manager of the consumer business; Barbara Purcell, general manager of neuro and other, generics and Obagi; Tage Ramakrishna, chief medical officer and president of R&D/quality, who will continue to lead R&D strategy and efforts companywide; and Kelly Webber, senior vice president of human resources, will now be responsible for HR globally.

“As we develop our strategic plan to create the new Valeant,” Pap added, “we are adding top talent to the leadership team, promoting high-performing leaders from within, and creating new structures and processes to help strengthen operations as we move forward.”


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