Purdue pharma brings restructuring expert aboard: 6 things to know

Embattled OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma hired Steve Miller, a famous figure in corporate restructuring, to head its board as the drugmaker seeks to overhaul its business and distance itself from the U.S. opioid crisis, Bloomberg reports.

Here are six things to know:

1. Miller became chairman of the company's board July 24.

2. He authored a 2008 memoir, "The Turnaround Kid: What I Learned Rescuing America's Most Troubled Companies," after he helped autoparts maker Delphi Corp. through bankruptcy and served as chairman of insurer American International Group as the company repaid its federal bailout.

3. The leadership change comes as the drugmaker battles more than 800 lawsuits linked to the U.S. opioid epidemic. Plaintiffs across the U.S. claim Purdue's sales practices laid the foundation for the public health crisis.

4. Although Purdue's lead drug is OxyContin, which brought in $1.8 billion in 2017, as the lawsuits piled up, Purdue shifted its focus from opioids, cut jobs and tried to position itself as a fighter of the epidemic. Under newly appointed CEO and president Craig Landau, MD, Purdue stopped promoting opioids to physicians and shifted to developing other products, including cancer therapies.

5. Purdue Pharma has named Marc Kesselman senior vice president and general counsel He will oversee legal strategy, ethics and compliance, governmental affairs and corporate governance.

6. "We are thrilled to welcome Steve and Marc to the organization. Steve is a world-class leader who is uniquely qualified to help us navigate the business challenges in front of us," said Landau.

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