FIRMENICH CHAIR: Vernon Sankey has been elected chairman of Firmenich’s board of directors. He replaces Jean-Marc Bruel, who will retire from the role after an eight-year tenure. Sankey, who took up the chairman role Thursday, joined Firmenich’s board in 2006. He is also a member of the boards of Zurich Financial Services AG and Atos Origin SA. Bruel joined Firmenich’s board in 1995 and was named chairman in 2000. He was the firm’s first nonfamily chairman since Firmenich was founded in 1895. In other Firmenich news, the privately owned firm reported sales for the year ended June 30 hit 2.85 billion Swiss francs, or $2.52 billion at current exchange. That equates to a 13.5 percent increase in Swiss francs and an 18.4 percent hike in local currencies. Its perfumery division generated double-digit growth in the period. “In fine fragrance we achieved a robust sales progression and again posted the highest win rate for new market launches,” the firm stated.LONG ROAD TO CVS: The battle for Longs Drug Stores may be finally over. Walgreen Co. chief executive Jeffrey A. Rein issued a letter to Longs Drug Stores stating it was withdrawing its takeover offer of about $2.8 billion. The letter states Longs refused to “engage in a constructive dialogue.” Last month, Longs decided to accept a lower bid from CVS Caremark.

This story first appeared in the October 10, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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