Mike Jandernoa leaves the board at Perrigo Co. plc next spring and in the process ends a link to the company’s past when it was a far smaller producer of medications in rural Allegan.
His pending departure will bring to a close Jandernoa’s 36-year tenure with Perrigo, where he served as CEO, chairman of the board and a director, and supported the company’s transformation into a global player in pharmaceuticals.
Jandernoa plans to step away from the company to dedicate more time to running 42 North Partners LLC, the family office he formed five years ago in Grand Rapids.
“It has not been an easy decision,” said Jandernoa, one of the longest-serving directors at a West Michigan-based corporation. “Next year, when it actually happens, it’s going to be very emotional when it gets to the real date.”
Jandernoa began with Perrigo when the company had a workforce of 300 people and $30 million in sales. After having a hand in growing Perrigo to $5.35 billion in sales in 2015 with a global workforce of more than 13,000 people, Jandernoa said he’s pivoting to focus on what he calls his “next career.”
That involves working with his three sons — Carl, Rob and Steve, all of whom returned to West Michigan in recent years — at 42 North Partners, which he launched in 2011 to manage business and philanthropic interests. 42 North Partners invests in companies in the Midwest and has seen investment prospects and acquisitions “growing like crazy,” all of which required more of his time.
“We are very busy with that and we have more on the plate,” said Jandernoa, who opted not to stand for re-election to the board of directors at Perrigo.
“Going into my next career, the family office, I thought I would be able to manage the time and the family office a little bit better, but with three sons involved and all of them working on the investing side, our transactions, and the number of investments and our acquisitions have been growing like crazy,” he said.
His tenure on the board ends with the next Perrigo shareholder meeting in April.
Jandernoa became president of Perrigo in January 1982, after the management team bought the company from its founding family a year earlier in a leveraged buyout.
Under his leadership, Perrigo was sold in 1986 to a New York City-based company, the Gro Group. For two and a half years, Jandernoa maintained an office on the 48th floor of the PanAm building in New York, as well as in Allegan.
Perrigo executives bought back the company in another management-led leveraged buyout in 1988, the same year Jandernoa became CEO. Three years later, Perrigo became a public company.
Overall, Jandernoa has served as an executive or a director at Perrigo since 1981. He was board chairman from 1991 to 2003, and served as CEO from 1988 until his retirement in 2000.
Today, Jandernoa finds his time divided between 42 North Partners, service on boards for a number of organizations and local businesses — including Business Leaders for Michigan and the West Michigan Policy Forum, and his duties as a Perrigo director.
His role as a corporate director at Perrigo has been more time consuming since the company re-domiciled in Dublin in 2013. Board meetings that once involved a day and a half now take four days because of the travel required.
His departure from the board next spring ends not just his tenure as Perrigo’s longest-serving director, but also the company’s final connection to its days of local ownership.
“That is part of the mixed emotions, no doubt about it,” Jandernoa said. “It’s a lot of time and I’m so blessed to have been involved with Perrigo for this time.”
As he prepares to leave the board, Perrigo is going through a restructuring of its ailing European business that led to a deep loss in the third quarter. The $1.25 billion loss resulted from two large impairment charges connected to Europe, according to the company.
Perrigo reported the loss and impairment charges while announcing that it was exploring “strategic alternatives” for the royalty rights to the multiple sclerosis drug Tysabri. That drug generated $93 million in royalties in the third quarter. Perrigo acquired the royalty stream as part of its $8.6 billion deal for Elan Corp. plc in 2013, in which it re-domiciled to Dublin.
Perrigo also has hired a third-party consultant “to provide an outside perspective and evaluate our segments, market positions, growth opportunities and relative organizational structures,” CEO John Hendrickson said in a statement.
Hendrickson expects the review of Tysabri as well as other business units to be complete by the end of the first quarter of 2017.
Perrigo has been under pressure to make changes from an activist shareholder, Starboard Value LP, which holds a 4.6-percent stake in the company.
Despite the present difficulty, Jandernoa remains eternally optimistic about Perrigo. He has high praise for Hendrickson, a 27-year veteran of the company who took over after former CEO Joe Papa departed earlier this year.
“I feel good that the Perrigo legacy and culture is in good hands,” Jandernoa said. “I feel very good about the company and the business and our management teams.”