Jose Barella Named Executive Chairman of Merial, Ltd.

2007-06-01 08:25 736

DULUTH, Ga., June 1 /Xinhua-PRNewswire/ -- The Board of Directors of Merial Ltd., one of the world's leading animal health companies, announced that Jose Barella will succeed Jerry Belle as Executive Chairman of Merial, effective June 1st.

Barella has been serving Merial as Chief Operating Officer and Head of Business Operations since 2005, during which time he has managed all commercial activities for Merial globally, including sales and marketing for both the Companion Animal and Production Animal businesses, and the commercial functions that support them. He also heads global supply chain.

Barella joined Merial in June 2001 as Head of Companion Animals franchise. Later, in 2003, he added responsibility for Merial's global supply chain.

Barella, a native of Brazil, has broad international experience and diverse managerial skills built on more than 20 years in manufacturing, supply chain, marketing and general management. Before joining Merial, he was the Head of Aventis Environmental Science (AES), where he managed the integration of all Rhone-Poulenc and AgroEvo assets to form AES, part of Aventis CropScience. Before that, he was Commercial Manager for Rhone-Poulenc Agriculture, Ltd. for the UK and Ireland, and Global product manager for a variety of Rhone-Poulenc agricultural products.

The appointment comes after an exhaustive executive search that began last year with Jerry Belle's announced retirement. The search included both internal and external candidates.

"We are delighted that Jose has agreed to lead Merial," said Judy Lewent, Merck's chief financial officer and co-chair of Merial's board of directors. "Jose's broad involvement in every aspect of the organization uniquely qualifies him to implement Merial's board-approved strategy."

Olivier Jacquesson, of sanofi-aventis and also co-chair of the Merial board, said: "This appointment shows strong support by both shareholders for Merial and is an endorsement of continuity with the Company's strategy."

The Board expressed its gratitude to Jerry Belle for his extraordinary leadership. "Jerry leaves Merial in a very strong position," Jacquesson said, "having guided the Company during one of its most successful periods." Jerry Belle will remain to assist with the transition for a period of time.

About Merial

Merial is a world-leading, innovation-driven animal health company, providing a comprehensive range of products to enhance the health, well-being and performance of a wide range of animals. Merial employs approximately 5,000 people and operates in more than 150 countries worldwide. Its 2006 sales were nearly $2.2 billion. Merial Limited is a joint venture between Merck & Co., Inc. and sanofi-aventis. For more information, please see

Source: Merial Ltd.