Perrigo hires CEO with tobacco industry ties

Generic drugmaker Perrigo hired Murray Kessler, a former food and tobacco industry executive, to run the company Oct. 8. He will replace the drugmaker's current CEO, Uwe Rohrhoff, who served for just 10 months, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The change in CEO comes as the generic drugmaker works to separate its prescription pharmaceutical unit from its growing consumer healthcare business. The prescription drug business accounted for about one-fifth of Perrigo's revenue in 2017.

Perrigo highlighted Mr. Kessler's experience in growing consumer-product companies and managing business in a highly regulated environment.

Mr. Rohrhoff will step down as president, CEO and board member but will remain through the transition.

"The board and Uwe mutually agreed the transition was in the best interest of the company, and given the previously announced separation of the Rx business, now is the appropriate time to make this change," Perrigo Chairman Rolf Classon told the WSJ.

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