ALLEGAN — As Perrigo Co. plc transitions to a new CEO, John Hendrickson thinks the company is “positioned in exactly the right place.”
Hendrickson stepped aside as CEO on Jan. 15 and plans to leave Perrigo by mid-March, ending a tenure of nearly 30 years with the company.
Taking over in his place is Uwe Rohrhoff, a veteran industry executive who previously ran Germany-based Gerresheimer AG. Hendrickson praised Rohrhoff as a “seasoned professional (and) experienced public-company CEO who created great shareholder value at Gerresheimer.”
Rohrhoff is a “good strategic thinker with proven financial and operational track records who
brought the next strategic level to our management team,” Hendrickson said.
“His management skills of complex infrastructure, complex businesses, multiple customers, multiple countries, all make him a great fit” for Perrigo, Hendrickson said during a recent presentation at the JPMorgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco.
Gerresheimer produces pharmaceutical packaging and medical devices for the storage, dosage and administration of drugs. The company had sales of $1.6 billion in 2016.
As CEO of Gerresheimer from 2010 to August 2017, Rohrhoff led a corporation that had 36 manufacturing facilities in 14 countries and 1,500 customers in nearly 100 countries.
Rohrhoff began his career at Gerresheimer in 1991. His role with the company included developing business in America and leading its U.S. subsidiary, Gerresheimer Glass Inc.
“I look forward to working with Perrigo’s experienced management team, who have been instrumental in positioning the company’s consumer OTC and prescription pharmaceutical businesses to capitalize on current trends in the market,” Rohrhoff said in a statement from Perrigo announcing his appointment.
“I have long admired Perrigo’s operational excellence and its mission to deliver high-quality, affordable health care products that improve the lives of patients and families. I see great opportunity to leverage the company’s unique asset base and to lead its talented employees to deliver enhanced value for shareholders,” he said. “Perrigo’s core values resonate with me deeply, and I look forward to leading this organization into its next stage of evolution.”
Rohrhoff will receive an annual base salary of 850,000 euros, or about $1 million, plus an annual bonus of no less 125 percent of his base salary if he meets performance metrics. He’ll also get a sign-on bonus of 850,000 euros, split between cash and stock.
A week prior to Rohrhoff’s arrival, Hendrickson outlined to investors at the JPMorgan conference how Perrigo has turned around its operations by focusing on its core businesses and divesting non-core assets.
“I’m happy with the company. I think we’ve taken great actions over the last year, year and a half to put ourselves in a better position,” Hendrickson said.
That turnaround effort followed the April 2016 departure of prior CEO Joe Papa, who left the company to lead Quebec-based Valeant Pharmaceutical Inc. shortly after Perrigo successfully fought off a hostile takeover bid from Mylan NV.
Hendrickson, who joined Perrigo in 1989, succeeded Papa as CEO, and is now planning to retire.
A producer of store-brand, over-the-counter medications and generic drugs, Perrigo still needs to make further investments in its international consumer health care division in Europe, a unit that has been improving, Hendrickson said.
“We feel very good about where we’re headed, but we do need to continue to invest,” he said. “We do need to continue to invest and improve our business capabilities. It’s not where we want it to be. It’s tremendously better than where it was a year, year and a half ago, but still not where we’ve expected it to be over the next two to three years, so we’ll continue to invest.”
The Dublin, Ireland-based Perrigo, which is run from Allegan, has posted improved quarterly results of late. The company will report fourth quarter and full-year 2017 results in the coming weeks.
Brokerage analysts expect Perrigo to report higher sales of $1.24 billion and end the quarter with net income of $1.23 per share.