Perrigo picks German glass packaging executive Uwe Röhrhoff as its new CEO

Perrigo has picked Uwe Röhrhoff, the now former head of pharma packaging company Gerresheimer, to oversee the generics and OTC specialist.
Uwe Röhrhoff

Perrigo has a lot of balls in the air right now, including a restructuring, a federal investigation and the potential buyout of Merck KGaA’s consumer health business. Now it will be up to Uwe Röhrhoff, former head of German pharma glass and packaging company Gerresheimer, to juggle them.

Perrigo announced today that Röhrhoff will start as CEO of the Dublin-based OTC and generics company on Jan. 15. He will replace John Hendrickson, who is retiring but will stay on until March 15 to help with the transition.

“As the CEO of Gerresheimer, … Uwe's transformative strategic vision and focus on operational excellence enhanced the company's leading market positions and created significant value for shareholders of approximately 225% in total shareholder return as CEO,” Perrigo Chairman Laurie Brlas said in a statement. “We are confident that his leadership style and industry, financial and operational expertise are the right fit for Perrigo.”

The company also thanked Hendrickson, who took over after Joseph Papa left to head Valeant Pharmaceuticals in April 2016. Hendrickson took the reins after Perrigo rejected a $26 billion buyout by Mylan and when generics prices began to crash in the U.S.

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The pressure mounted on him early last year when activist investor Starboard Value gained five board seats and insisted on big changes. It had already sold off its API business to Strides Shashun for about $15 million. The company then announced it would slash 750 jobs, the CFO left and shortly after federal authorities executed a search warrant as part of a widespread generic drug pricing probe. A couple of months later, Hendrickson's retirement was announced after nearly 30 years at the company and Perrigo was searching for a new CEO.

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In the last six months, Perrigo's cost-cutting and repositioning measures have paid off. Its generics sales results in the second quarter were better than most rivals', and it completely surprised analysts in the third quarter with earnings that allowed the company to raise its 2017 guidance. It reported revenue of $1.22 billion, solidly above forecasts of $1.17 billion.  

Last month, sources told Reuters that the company was feeling confident enough to look at M&A. It was reported that Perrigo was among those vying to buy the consumer health business of Merck KGaA, which like Gerresheimer is also a German company.