Douglas Pharmaceuticals’ founder announces retirement as MD – starts new business
Auckland, New Zealand February 3, 2014: The founder of Douglas Pharmaceuticals, Sir Graeme Douglas, has announced his retirement as the company’s managing
director, effective February 1.
He will remain as chairman of the Board and his son, Jeff Douglas, the current chief executive, will assume the role of
managing director of the Douglas Corporate Group, New Zealand’s largest pharmaceutical manufacturer.
The company has also appointed Chris van Niekerk as chief executive of the Douglas Corporate Group. Chris van Niekerk
was managing director of Douglas Pharmaceuticals Australia for several years before he left to gain international
experience with multi-national companies. He obtained his formal qualifications in South Africa (B. Pharm, Bsc. Hons.
Pharmacology, Masters in Business Leadership (MBL) and is also a Fellow of the Pharmaceutical Society of South Africa
His other previous roles include: senior vice-president for Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX), chief operating officer and
executive director for iNova Pharmaceuticals Australia, and chairman of the Board for iNova Pharmaceuticals Pty (South
“Chris has worked with us before and he has a wealth of international and relevant experience to bring to this role. He
is an entrepreneurial, results-orientated, values-driven and hands-on pharmaceutical executive with a proven track
record in managing and leading growth,” comments Jeff Douglas.
Sir Graeme says he believes now is the right time for him to move aside and let the company’s talented younger team lead
Douglas Pharmaceuticals into its next era.
“I have complete confidence they have the experience and enthusiasm to manage the future development and growth of the
total company’s activities and ambitions,” says Sir Graeme.
Sir Graeme, who turns 85 this month, says he has no intention of retiring from business. On the contrary, he is starting
a new specialist nutrition company, Douglas Nutrition, which he will run independently from Douglas Pharmaceuticals. The
company already has four staff and premises in Henderson, Auckland. It will produce supplements for infants, pregnant
mothers, geriatrics and patients with very debilitating illness, and will particularly focus on export markets.
Meanwhile, Douglas Pharmaceuticals has appointed Employers and Manufacturers’ Association chief executive Kim Campbell
as an additional Board member. Mr Campbell has had significant pharmaceutical experience in Australasia and Asia.
Jeff Douglas says 2014 will see the company continue its strong focus on expanding export markets, particularly the US
and South-East Asia, while further developing its successful domestic business.
The company launches its new clozapine suspension schizophrenia treatment in the US this week. It already enjoys a 20
percent share of the US market for its isotretinoin (acne treatment) product which it launched two years ago. Douglas
Pharmaceuticals has other products in the pipeline awaiting regulatory review and approval.
Founded in 1967 by Sir Graeme Douglas, the company employs 460 people marketing and distributing its products
domestically, and exporting to a further 45 countries worldwide.