Legally embattled Purdue Pharma LP has announced another round of leadership changes as it continues to face hundreds of lawsuits nationwide – and attendant hits to its corporate image – over its manufacture and marketing of opioids like OxyContin.
Steve Miller, named chairman of the board of directors, and Marc Kesselman, appointed senior vice president and general counsel, will report to Purdue President and CEO Craig Landau, who was named to that post last summer.
The appointments take place “as the company continues to take meaningful steps to reduce opioid abuse and addiction and pursue new medications for patients suffering from cancer and select central nervous system disorders,” the Stamford-based firm said in a statement.
Miller has a history of leading corporate turnarounds, including that of Chrysler and Delphi Corp. (now Aptiv). He has served on more than a dozen corporate boards, including U.S. Bank, United Airlines and Dow DuPont, and as chairman of insurance company AIG. In 2008 he published the book “The Turnaround Kid.”
“Working with Purdue and its board during this transformational time is an exciting opportunity for me,” Miller said. “The company has the intellect and commitment to build a strong and diversified business focused on addressing needs of patients and health care professionals, and I look forward to participating in this journey.”
Kesselman joins Purdue most recently from similar roles in large multinational companies across the food and beverage industry. He previously served as general counsel of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and deputy general counsel of the White House Office of Management & Budget. He also was a trial attorney for the Civil Division of the Department of Justice, where he earned the John Marshall Award, the Attorney General’s highest recognition for trial litigation.
“Purdue has in place talented legal, compliance and government affairs teams,” Kesselman said, “and I’m looking forward to working with them and the rest of my new colleagues to build a sustainable and patient-focused business operating with the highest ethical standards.”