So, with her transactional background -- and an org chart role reporting directly to CEO Dick Clark -- AND CEO Clark's repeated public commentary to the effect that "[legacy Schering-Plough] Consumer Health. . . will need a partner", is the handwriting on the wall for a spinoff, splitoff, sale, joint venture or other transaction related to these Merck businesses?
I don't know, but I'll bet one of the analysts on tomorrow's earnings call will ask. See the snippet, from the longer Merck release, after-hours today:
. . . .Merck today announced the appointment of Bridgette P. Heller as Executive Vice President and President, Consumer Health Care. Ms. Heller will succeed Stanley F. Barshay, who had postponed his planned retirement to serve in a transition role following the merger of Merck and Schering-Plough. Effective March 1, 2010, Ms. Heller, 48, will report directly to Richard T. Clark, Merck’s chairman, president and chief executive officer, and will serve on the company’s Executive Committee. . . .
Ms. Heller most recently served as President of Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Global Business Unit since 2007 and prior to that she was Johnson & Johnson’s Global President, Baby, Kids and Wound Care. While at Johnson & Johnson, Ms. Heller led a global team across all functions of the business unit with worldwide revenues of over $2.5 billion.
Before joining Johnson & Johnson Ms. Heller was founder and managing partner at Heller Associates from 2004-2005, where she provided consumer-centric growth strategies for companies outside of the traditional consumer packaged goods arena. Previously, Ms. Heller provided hands-on leadership as Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Chung’s Gourmet Foods, the second largest U.S. egg roll manufacturer. And before that Ms. Heller served as Executive Vice President and General Manager, Coffee Division at Kraft Foods, Inc. where she had full P&L responsibility for the largest coffee portfolio in the U.S. with $1.5 billion in revenues. . . .
Tune in bright and early, tomorrow!