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Nycomed names new chairman

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Nycomed Amersham this month named a new chairman, sparking speculation that the company’s Norwegian influence is decreasing. Richard Lapthorne, Nycomed’s deputy chairman, will trade jobs with chairman Johan Odfjell at the conclusion of the

Nycomed Amersham this month named a new chairman, sparking speculation that the company’s Norwegian influence is decreasing. Richard Lapthorne, Nycomed’s deputy chairman, will trade jobs with chairman Johan Odfjell at the conclusion of the firm’s annual general meeting on May 6. Odfjell was appointed chairman when Nycomed and Amersham merged into a $2.5 billion drug company in October 1997 (SCAN 7/9/97 and 10/29/97). The Buckinghamshire, U.K., and Oslo, Norway, company also announced that its executive director, Tore Laerdal, will retire after the meeting.

At the time of the merger, the two companies took care to balance the new entity’s executive lineup between U.K. and Norwegian officers. But industry experts wonder if the company is gradually leaning toward Buckinghamshire. Lapthorne and Odfjell’s switch is the latest in a series of personnel shifts in which many Norway-based executives have left the company.

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