Consent decree diminishes CEO Weldon's role in McNeil turnaround

Now that he's no longer in the driver's seat of the McNeil-comeback bus, back-to-business pronouncements by CEO Bill Weldon (photo) have a somewhat more relaxed tone.

He "doesn't know" when the Fort Washington, PA, plant will reopen, reports Bloomberg. "We've basically torn everything down from that facility and we're renovating." He adds, "We expect that we will have all the products, we're hoping, into the market by the end of this year."

His hedging is appropriate, now that there are two layers of approval above him for much of McNeil manufacturing: a GMP consultant, the hiring of whom is a consent decree requirement, and the FDA. Shut-down plants and manufacturing operations will stay that way until both parties give them the thumbs-up.

Far from thinking about retirement, Weldon says he's focused "first and foremost" on the multitude of recent product recalls and on putting the healthcare giant's operations quality meltdown in the rear-view mirror.

"People that know me said I'll fix this problem and, you know, I will fix it," Weldon tells the news agency. His only fix-it tool from here on in, however, is the pen used for check-signing. - George Miller