Since Brent Saunders took the helm of Bausch & Lomb in 2010, the company has turned a corner, reports The Wall Street Journal.
Once upon a time, Bausch & Lomb's contact lens products accounted for over half of the firm's revenue. In 2005, shares peaked at $87.50.
However, since then the company has been hit with an earnings restatement and a recall of its lens cleaning solution because of a link to a potentially blinding eye infection. After losing half its value, Bausch & Lomb was taken private in a $3.7 billion leveraged buyout in 2007.
Under Saunders' leadership, the eye company moved away from contact lens products and is now focusing on developing new devices and treatments for eye problems.
Sales last year were up 11% from 2010, at $2.8 billion. And Saunders has worked to revamp the company's culture: He moved executives back to the firm's main offices, emphasized the importance of bringing new products to market as much as researching these, increased the company's focus on drugs and devices, and facilitated collaboration among sales reps from different units.
Bausch nonetheless faces an uphill battle. For one thing, it has to compete with players like Johnson & Johnson and Novartis. Also, it holds a debt load of $2.7 billion, making it difficult to plunk down the cash necessary for new investments.
Saunders tells WSJ that his company can succeed by listening to its customers, reinvigorating older products and introducing new ones.
Bribery Scandal Forced Avon Resignation (WSJ)
Avon Group Vice President Kerry Carr resigned earlier this month amid scrutiny of the audit department where she previously worked in connection with a probe that the company could have made bribes to facilitate business overseas.
AstraZeneca CEO to Resign (WSJ)
AstraZeneca Chief Executive David Brennan will resign in June. Brennan's abrupt announcement came as the U.K. drug maker recorded a 44% drop in net profit in the first quarter. Chief Financial Officer Simon Lowth will replace Brennan on an interim basis.
Fixing OTCs is Johnson Priority (Fox)
Alex Gorsky, Johnson & Johnson's incoming chief executive who takes the reins today, says fixing the company's over-the-counter medicine business and restoring its reputation is his first priority. J&J has lost $1.5 billion in sales as a result of product recalls since 2009.
Groupon Needs to Grow Up (WSJ)
Groupon's Chief Executive Andrew Mason says the company is a "toddler in a grown man's body in many ways" and does not "have any margin for error." His remarks come a month after Groupon was forced to revise its quarterly financial results to account for having underestimated customer refund requests.
Wal-Mart Now Takes Cash Online (MarketWatch)
Wal-Mart announced Thursday it will allow customers to pay for products chosen online with cash at U.S. stores and Neighborhood Markets. The retailer says this will appeal to its customers, most of whom have Internet access, but not all of whom have bank accounts.
J.C. Penney Hires Apple Exec (FINS)
Apple's Benjamin Fay is J.C. Penney's new executive vice president of real estate, store design and development. Fay served as senior director of retail real estate, design and development at Apple. Additionally, the retailer has hired Laura Sandall as vice president of events, marketing and publicity, Michelynn Woodard as VP of philanthropy, and promoted Kristin Hays to senior vice president of communications.
Seven Deadly Sins as a Marketing Tool (AdAge)
Marketers should evoke the seven deadly sins and heavenly virtues when creating messages to target their audience's "primal motivators," writes Dean Loftis, a contributor for Ad Age. "Your creative take or messaging will more deeply resonate with your target audience if it triggers primal behavior motivators (Sins) or presents the triumphant overcoming of them, the Virtues."
Couch Multitaskers (Marketing Week)
The Institute of Practitioners in Advertising has created a report showing U.K. consumers are watching 4% less TV than in 2010, although the medium reaches 98% of the adult population. About 29% of adults watch TV online, versus 20% in 2010, while nearly half of all adults and three quarters of 15-24 year olds surf the Web while watching TV.
Tablets Gain Traction (eMarketer)
Tablets are increasingly becoming an important way to market to customers and drive sales. A new survey shows 80% of all tablet owners use their devices to research and buy products. Half of tablet users strongly agreed the tablet was an ideal tool for researching products prior to purchase.
Lego's New Brand Ambassador (MarketingWeek)
Lego has named TV presenter and adventurer Ben Fogle as its first celebrity brand ambassador. Starting at the end April, Fogle will be the face of Lego City's biggest campaign yet, called "The Great Forest Escape."
Buzz Around the Office
A Freddie Mercury tribute from cartoonist Pablo Stanley.
List of the Day: Recognizing a Dysfunctional Boss
We've all had them at some point, and if you haven't, you will.
1. They go hot and cold with their emotions toward you.
2. They're conspiracy theorists.
3. They never admit to a mistake.