William M. Carpenter resigned as chief executive officer of Bausch & Lomb at the beginning of September, citing personal reasons, shortly after the company's board of directors took the chairmanship away from him and gave it back to William H. Waltrip, who had held it between 1996 and 1997. Waltrip is acting now also as CEO on an interim basis, pending an executive search that has been assigned to Heidrick & Struggles, the international headhunters.
Carpenter became CEO of Bausch & Lomb in 1997. He was responsible for divesting Ray-Ban and other non-core businesses, focusing the company in the field of vision care, correction and enhancement. In spite of these strategic moves, Carpenter was unable to turn Bausch & Lomb around financially in any significant way. He lost out to Novartis a lengthy war for the acquisition of Wesley Jessen.
In another corporate reshuffle, Angela J. Panzanella, a vice president of the company who has been in charge of investor relations since 1996, has been placed in charge of a new corporate strategy position, handling strategic market analysis and strategic planning in eye care. She joined the group in 1988 as a lawyer in its legal department. She subsequently held various marketing and planning functions in its contact lens business.
Happily, investor relations and all other internal and external communication functions are now grouped together in a single department of Bausch & Lomb that will be run by Barbara M. Kelley, who has been promoted as corporate vice president of communications and investor relations. Kelley started out at Bausch & Lomb in public relations in 1983. She became corporate vice president of communications in 1997.