J&J picks Bayer executive Peterson as group worldwide chairman

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J., Thu Sep 13, 2012 – Johnson & Johnson said Sandra Peterson, currently a Bayer executive, will take on the new role of group worldwide chairman, overseeing a consent decree at the company’s troubled manufacturing plants that produce over-the-counter drugs.

Beginning Dec. 1, Peterson will oversee information technology and the global supply chain, as well as J&J’s vast consumer business, which makes products including Tylenol, baby shampoo and Band-Aids, the company said on Thursday.

Peterson, 52, will also become a member of the J&J executive committee, the company said.

Shares of J&J were up 9 cents at $68.24 in early trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

J&J’s McNeil Consumer Healthcare has been operating under a consent decree after three of its manufacturing plants failed to curb quality lapses that had sparked a flood of recalls for its nonprescription medicines, such as Tylenol painkiller.

Over the past couple of years, faulty manufacturing has prompted J&J’s McNeil unit to recall millions of bottles and packages of Tylenol, Motrin, Rolaids, Benadryl and other products. Some of these recalls affected the company’s distribution worldwide.

Peterson is chairman and chief executive officer of Bayer AG affiliate Bayer CropScience AG, based in Europe, a position she has held since 2010. Before that, she was president and CEO of Bayer Medical Care and president of Bayer HealthCare AG’s Diabetes Care Division.

Prior to joining Bayer in 2005, Peterson spent 5 years in leadership roles at Medco Health Solutions.

Apollo’s head of real estate could change role: WSJ

NEW YORK, Tues May 29, 2012 – The head of Apollo Global Management’s real estate fund is talking to the firm’s top management about changing his role, the Wall Street journal reported on Monday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Joseph Azrack has been in charge of Apollo’s real estate team since 2008. The article did not specify what Azrack’s new role would be, but said people familiar with the matter expect he could leave the real estate job.

While a behemoth in buyouts and credit investments, Apollo is still a junior player in real estate. Its competitor Blackstone Group has raised more than $10 billion for its latest real estate fund.

Apollo reached a final fundraising close for its U.S. real estate fund in the first quarter, with commitments from investors totaling $713 million.

An Apollo spokesman declined to comment.

Ford sees 50 percent sales growth by mid-decade; global sales to rise

DETROIT ― Ford Motor Co. said Tuesday that it will grow by about 50 percent in global auto sales to about 8 million per year by the middle of the decade.

Much of that growth will be in China and India, Ford said.

By 2014, more than 140 percent of Ford’s global product portfolio will be either new or significantly refreshed from its 2009 lineup, a Ford spokesman said in an e-mail. The figure is more than 100 percent because some of the models will have been turned over at least twice in that five-year period, the spokesman said.

Ford last week announced that it would introduce the smallest engine in its history, a three-cylinder, within the next two years.

On Tuesday, Ford said that by 2020, about 55 percent of its total vehicle sales should be of small cars. Also, Ford said its Asia-Pacific and Africa sales regions should make up nearly a third of its 2020 sales.

Ford executives are in New York to meet with Wall Street analysts about long-term growth strategies and efforts to continue strengthening the balance sheet. That session will be held on Tuesday afternoon.

Ford Chief Executive Alan Mulally separately told CNBC in an interview Tuesday morning that the company has exited the “survival mode” and is poised for major growth around the world.

Mulally took over as Ford CEO in 2006 and has turned the company around so that it has shown a profit for each of its last seven quarters. From 2006 to 2008, Ford lost $30 billion.

Ford shares on Tuesday morning were up 1.2 percent at $14.08 per share.