Wyeth-ayerst Merger Prompts A Reassignment Of Executives

Posted: September 07, 1987

The decision by American Home Products Corp. to combine its two pharmaceutical divisions has precipitated reassignments throughout the organization. The parent company announced two weeks ago that the headquarters of Ayerst Laboratories will be moved from New York City to Radnor and merged with Wyeth Laboratories to create Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories.

Dr. Bernard Canavan, 51, moves from his position as president of Wyeth to chairman of the combined organization. Cavanan, who received his medical training at the University of Edinburgh, joined Wyeth's Canadian subsidiary as medical director in 1969.

Canavan also has been named executive vice president of American Home Products. Wyeth-Ayerst is expected to generate annual sales of $2.5 billion, accounting for nearly half of the parent company's revenue.

Judson St. John, president of Ayerst, becomes president of the merged unit, reporting to Canavan. St. John, 61, joined Ayerst as a sales representative in 1951 and has spent his career with the company. He was named president of Ayerst four years ago.

Raymond B. Osborne, chairman and chief executive officer of Wyeth's international subsidiary, becomes chairman of Wyeth-Ayerst International. Osborne, 64, joined Wyeth in 1951. He will oversee international operations for the combined company.

J. Spencer Howell has been appointed to the new position of senior vice president for business development at Wyeth-Ayerst International. Howell, 58, had been president of Ayerst International.

Helmer P.K. Agersborg Jr., who has been Wyeth's vice president for research and development since 1976, becomes president of Wyeth-Ayerst Research. He will oversee research activities at the laboratories in Radnor that had been part of Wyeth and those in Princeton, N.J., that were run by Ayerst. Agersborg, 58, joined Wyeth as a clinical physiologist in 1958.

Although the two drug units are being merged, the sales organization will continue to be divided between the Wyeth and Ayerst product lines for the immediate future. Thomas Cavanagh has been named to the new position of executive vice president for sales and marketing of the Wyeth products group.

Cavanagh, 51, had been senior vice president for sales and marketing at Wyeth.

Cavanagh's counterpart at Ayerst, Arnold Somin, will be executive vice president for sales and marketing of the Ayerst products group. Somin, 52, has been with Ayerst for nine years.

Joseph J. Carr has been named to the new position of executive vice president for operations at Wyeth-Ayerst. Carr, 44, had been senior vice president for finance and administration at Wyeth.


Gerald E. Pierson, former executive director of the Springfield division of Metropolitan Hospital, has joined Graduate Hospital in Philadelphia as executive director. A former management consultant at Touche Ross & Co. in Philadelphia, he holds an MBA in marketing from the Wharton School.

Don Johnson (no, not the guy on Miami Vice) has been appointed vice president of sales and marketing for Perlman Homes, a real estate firm with several developments at the Jersey shore.

Harry J. Pearce has been named executive vice president and chief financial officer of Tyco Toys Inc. of Moorestown. He will supervise all financial, legal and administrative functions. Pearce joined Tyco in 1973 from Arthur Andersen & Co. and has been the company's principal liaison with the investment community since Tyco went public in 1986.

Fidelity Bank has named as vice presidents Michael J. Alderfer, Bruce J. Besecker, Richard M. Payne and Robert H. Waters Jr.

Alderfer is a unit head in executive banking, community banking. He joined Fidelity in 1986.

Besecker is a portfolio manager in the investment group, financial management. He joined Fidelity in June, having been affiliated with Merrill Lynch as an assistant vice president for institutional sales.

Payne is a unit head in executive banking, community banking. He joined the bank in 1986. Waters is a unit manager in credit administration, loan administration. He joined the bank in 1974 as a transit-proof operator and has served in various positions, most recently as a business-loan representative.

Hill International, the Willingboro construction consultant, promoted Joseph C. Hoffman to vice president in charge of project management and business development. Hoffman had been director of sales and helped get Hill several multimillion-dollar contracts with the U.S. government.

Comtech Resources Inc., the Jenkintown data-processing-consulting firm, has named John J. McCarthy to the new position of executive vice president in charge of professional services. McCarthy recently retired from Boeing Co.'s Chadds Ford office after 25 years as regional manager of field operations for projects in the East and Midwest.

SL Industries Inc. of Marlton has hired Daryl L. Renschler as executive vice president. Renschler had worked for General Electric Co. and most recently was president of Simco Co. Inc., a producer of electrical equipment for the measurement and control of static electricity.

Robert G. Petersen has been named senior vice president of sales and services for BBC Brown Boveri Inc. in Blue Bell. Petersen joined the engineering firm in 1978 and was most recently a vice president of international marketing.

Marcene W. Goldmann, a lawyer and assistant dean of the Temple University School of Law, is the new vice president in the office-leasing department at Helmsley-Greenfield Inc. Goldmann served as assistant dean for graduate legal studies and external programs at Temple, directing graduate legal and judicial education programs. Prior to that, she practiced law in Philadelphia, specializing in domestic relations, juvenile and family-health law.

Carol Eckert will be vice president and chief operating officer at Stewart Title Guaranty Co.'s new Philadelphia branch office. Stewart Title recently selected Philadelphia for its only full-service office outside Texas. Eckert, formerly assistant vice president of Meritor/PSFS, is a 25-year veteran of the mortgage and title business.

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