Hospira beefs up quality management team

Hospira ($HSP), which has been dealing with quality and shortage issues at a plant in North Carolina, is bringing some fresh faces to its quality leadership team.

Zena Kaufman, who previously was at Abbott Laboratories ($ABT), starts as senior vice president of quality, effective Feb. 27, the company said. She will report directly to CEO F. Michael Ball.

The maker of injectable drugs and infusion technologies also named 5 other executives to positions, including new management at its troubled Rocky Mount, NC, plant. It also announced the new position of vice president of pharma operations excellence, "to ensure that process change is systemic across the company's U.S. plants."

In April 2010, the FDA warned Hospira about shortfalls at its Rocky Mount plant and another facility in Lake Forest, IL. Follow-up inspections cleared the Illinois plant, but FDA inspectors came back with a list of 18 more problems at the North Carolina facility, which accounts for a quarter of the company's sales. Then in October, Hospira lost $1 billion in market cap in one day when it announced that continued slowdowns at Rocky Mount would cut its earnings expectations for the the fiscal year. It has since regained much of the lost value.

As vice president of pharma operations excellence, Thomas Templeman has been given the task of instilling quality thinking throughout the organization. He most recently worked as senior vice president, integrated supply chain, at Liquidia Technologies.

In addition, the company said Matt Stober, who joined the company late last year from Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ), will be corporate vice president, U.S. pharma operations. His primary responsibility will be for Hospira's Rocky Mount facility, as well as plants in McPherson, KS; Austin, TX; and Clayton, NC.

Shane Ernst is now the vice president of quality at Rocky Mount, and Marty Nealey is now the vice president of operations and plant manager at Rocky Mount. They are responsible for manufacturing and remediation efforts at the plant. Andrew Knudten was named vice president of operations and plant manager at the McPherson plant.

The company did not say who, if anyone, the new executives replaced.

- here's the release

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