published Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

Chattanooga-based Chattem names new president, CCO

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    Robert Long, right, is being named president and John Stroud is being named chief commercial officer of Chattem Inc.
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Some 90 million people are estimated to have used a Chattem product in the past year, and the Chattanooga-based consumer health care company has elevated two executives to key posts to help manage its growth.

Robert Long, 42, a Chattem executive vice president, has been named as president.

John Stroud, also an executive vice president, was appointed to the new post of chief commercial officer.

Long, who joined Chattem in 2006 and was its chief financial officer, will have a more expanded role as the company's new president.

Stroud, 53, who came to Chattem at about the same time, will oversee the commercial side of the business.

Both Long and Stroud will continue to report to Zan Guerry, the company's chief executive officer.

"It's a very exciting time for the company," Guerry said, adding that the appointments formalize the way the business has been operating for a period of time.

Guerry said it's "very appropriate" for the company to have a president, noting Bob Bosworth held the post before leaving the business a couple of years ago.

Chattem has seen a surge in sales since it was purchased by French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi in 2010 for $1.9 billion in cash.

While Chattem sales late last decade were about $400 million, retail sales now have topped $1 billion. The company has taken the blockbuster allergy medicine Allegra from a prescription medicine to over-the-counter sales, and it later did the same for nasal allergy spray Nasacort.

In May, Chattem said it planned to launch erectile dysfunction medicine Cialis as an over-the-counter drug if the switch from prescription sales can gain regulatory approval. Cialis last year garnered more than $942 million in U.S. sales.

Long said he's overseeing finance and operations, while Stroud focuses on sales, marketing and product development.

A University of Tennessee at Chattanooga graduate, Long said that the business is performing well, citing the growth of its stable of products which include the Gold Bond and Icy Hot lines.

"It's a team effort," said Long, who is married with two children.

Stroud, who was reared in Alabama, said there's a lot of upside opportunities for the company, which now employs about 680 people, with 600 of those in Chattanooga.

Guerry said that Chattem as an organization has a lot similarities to a football team. One day the offense scores and on another, it's the defense that stars.

"John is good with the trade," Guerry said. "Robert has a CPA background and we don't have to worry about the numbers being correct."

Contact Mike Pare at mpare@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6318.

about Mike Pare...

Mike Pare, the deputy Business editor at the Chattanooga Times Free Press, has worked at the paper for 27 years. In addition to editing, Mike also writes Business stories and covers Volkswagen, economic development and manufacturing in Chattanooga and the surrounding area. In the past he also has covered higher education. Mike, a native of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., received a bachelor’s degree in communications from Florida Atlantic University. he worked at the Rome News-Tribune before ...

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