Perrigo CEO Murray Kessler leaves

  • After about five years in the position
  • Praise, thanks and good wishes for Kessler
  • Search for a successor
  • Kessler made a lengthy statement and said 222 words

(exechange) — Dublin, Ireland, May 9, 2023 — Murray Kessler, chief executive of Perrigo, leaves his position. As announced by Perrigo Co. Plc in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Tuesday, May 9, 2023, Murray S. Kessler leaves his post as chief executive officer at the provider of consumer self-care products, after about five years in the role, effective July 31, 2023.

Perrigo will undertake a search for a successor.

“This is the right time”

The management change is explained as follows. Kessler stated: “After 18 years as a public company CEO, I have decided that this is the right time for me to retire.”

Precise information regarding Murray Kessler’s future plans was not immediately available.


Perrigo said: “Murray S. Kessler has notified the Company of his intent to retire as President and Chief Executive Officer, with a target effective date of July 31, 2023.”

Perrigo further said: “On May 4, 2023, Murray S. Kessler, President and Chief Executive Officer of Perrigo Company plc (“Perrigo” or the “Company”) advised Perrigo’s Nominating & Governance Committee of his intent to retire as President and Chief Executive Officer, with a target effective date of July 31, 2023.”

Share price decline since October 2018

The announcement follows a decline in Perrigo Co. Plc’s share price of 49% since October 2018. October 2018 is the month in which Kessler’s tenure as CEO of Perrigo began.

In the position of CEO since 2018

Murray Kessler became CEO of the Company in 2018.

Murray S. Kessler was appointed President, Chief Executive Officer and Board Member of Perrigo Company plc, effective October 8, 2018.

Before joining Perrigo, Kessler served as the Chairman of the board of directors, President and CEO of Lorillard, Inc. from 2010 to 2015.

Prior to Lorillard, Inc. he served as Vice Chair of Altria, Inc. in 2009, Chairman of the Board, President and CEO of UST, Inc. from 2005 to 2009 and President of US Smokeless Tobacco, a wholly owned subsidiary of UST from 2000 to 2004.

Previous to his time at UST, Kessler had over 18 years of consumer-packaged goods experience with companies including Vlasic Foods International, Campbell Soup and The Clorox Company.

In addition to his board service at Lorillard, Kessler previously served on the board of directors of Reynolds-American, Inc. from 2015 to 2017.

Kessler served as voluntary President of the United States Equestrian Federation from 2015 to 2021.

222 words by Murray Kessler

In the news release announcing his departure as CEO of Perrigo Co. Plc, Murray Kessler received praise, thanks and good wishes.

In announcing his departure, Murray Kessler made a lengthy statement and said 222 words.

“Drive the execution of our strategic plan”

Murray Kessler stated: “After 18 years as a public company CEO, I have decided that this is the right time for me to retire. I joined Perrigo almost 5 years ago to lead the transformation of the Company from a healthcare to a consumer self-care company. Leading that transformation has been one of the most exciting assignments of my career. From fourteen M&A transactions to reconfiguring the Company’s portfolio, the near complete elimination of a $4 billion tax and legal overhang, to the strategic path put in place to create value for the future, I am proud of what my team, with the Board’s support, has accomplished. The fact that this all happened in the face of an incredibly difficult macro-economic environment makes the transformation that much sweeter. All of the pieces are now in place. Perrigo is growing its top line, its margins and its bottom line. It has a strong plan in place to reduce leverage, it has amazingly talented employees and it has a clear plan to deliver strong growth going forward. This is exactly the right time to hand over the reins of Perrigo to the next leader who can relentlessly drive the execution of our strategic plan for years to come. I truly believe that Perrigo is set up for a bright future and to create tremendous value for investors.”

40% of CEOs are forced out or fired

When CEO departures are announced, exechange determines the Push-out Score on a scale of 0 to 10 to assess how likely it is that the chief executive was pushed out or felt pressure to leave the position, with 0 being most likely a voluntary move and 10 being most likely a forced exit. Anything over a 5 indicates that there are valid reasons to believe an executive may have been pushed out.

Of the 312 CEO departures in the Russell 3000 Index evaluated over the past 12 months (May 9, 2022, to May 8, 2023), the average Push-out Score was 6.2, according to exechange data. References to conduct issues, disagreements and irregularities lead to the highest Push-out Scores. When performance issues, pursuit of other opportunities or time with family were cited as departure reasons, the average Push-out Scores were also significantly elevated.

Around 40% of the CEO departure events from the past 12 months received Push-out Scores of 8 or higher.

In other words, in the past 12 months, two in five departing CEOs were forced out or fired.

Push-out Score for Murray Kessler’s move determined

The Push-out Score regarding Murray Kessler’s move is explained point by point in the exechange report.

exechange reached out to Perrigo and offered the company the opportunity to comment on the score.

Read the full story in the exechange report 20.2023 ($).