Eugene Melnyk, the owner of Fusion Brands, said Monday he has become the acting chief executive officer of the company in the wake of the recent resignation of Caroline Pieper-Vogt.

This story first appeared in the November 8, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

“In the coming days, Fusion Brands will be announcing some very exciting initiatives to boost our current brand awareness and profile and at the same time introduce exciting new products that we hope will succeed as some of the earlier brands at Fusion,” he told WWD.

Melnyk described Pieper-Vogt’s departures as “unfortunate,” but he added that it “opens several doors for ambitious health and beauty executives who have shown that they are ready to ‘step up to the big leagues’ with a simple ‘back-to-basics’ philosophy, create a winning combination.”

Melnyk said he will continue as chairman while handling the ceo role and acknowledged the need for reorganization. “The company will streamline certain unprofitable product lines,” he said, declining to elaborate. Market speculation has circulated for weeks about reports of financial stress at the firm. Melnyk, a major figure in the Canadian pharmaceutical industry, said he intends to launch several brands at Fusion and “wisely invest its capital to maximize profitability.”

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