Merck Consumer Health appoints Bridgette Heller President
Merck & Co., Inc. 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.
As leader of Consumer Health Care, Ms. Heller will leverage Merck's consumer products brands to capitalize on new growth opportunities, including expanding the consumer business in markets outside the United States. Merck's Consumer Health Care division is home to a variety of household names, including, among others, AFRIN, CLARITIN, COPPERTONE, DR. SCHOLL'S, MiraLAX and LOTRIMIN. Each day, millions of people count on one or more of Merck's industry-leading brands that help prevent or treat various common conditions.
"We are extremely pleased to welcome Bridgette as the leader of our Consumer Health Care division," said Mr. Clark. "While the Consumer Health Care business already has an established presence around the world, it also represents an attractive growth opportunity for Merck. Bridgette has an impressive track record of leading multi-billion dollar businesses, as well as exceptional marketing acumen, both of which will serve her well in leading growth initiatives for Merck's consumer business."
"This is an exciting time to join the new Merck, with its focus on the consumer health care sector," said Ms. Heller. "I look forward to working with the talented team throughout this division to pursue growth through enhanced innovation, creative research and development and improved products in our Consumer Health Care business."
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. In this capacity, Ms. Heller operated across multiple sales channels, including grocery, specialty retailers and direct-to-consumer and directed an internal organization of 500 employees across four manufacturing facilities, and an additional 550 employees from three outsourcing partners. Prior to that, Ms. Keller held a variety of managerial roles at Kraft since 1985.
Ms. Heller received an MBA from the J. L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University and received her B.A. from Northwestern University.