Charles River shakes up its leadership to cut costs and boost sales

Preclinical CRO Charles River Laboratories ($CRL) is shuffling its high offices in an effort to better focus on efficiency, uniting its business units to slash spending and speed up growth.

Under the new plan, former Asian and European chief Jörg Geller becomes Charles River's executive vice president in charge of productivity and efficiency, tasked with making sure the CRO is getting all it can out of its preclinical segments. In tandem, Charles River is ditching its former regionally minded model, installing new heads of its research models, services and discovery businesses who will take a more global view.

All told, the shift is designed to help Charles River take better stock of its strengths and needs, CEO James Foster said, simplifying the organizational structure to maximize efficiency.

"The changes we are announcing today are the logical evolution of these ongoing efforts, which we believe will ensure our clients a consistent and superior experience across our global organization," Foster said in a statement. "Furthermore, our intensified emphasis on efficiency will enable us to meet our clients' expectations while maintaining and enhancing our reputation for service, responsiveness and scientific excellence."

Charles River has been refining its model over the past year, selectively cutting, shifting and expanding after watching revenue fall 1.1% to $1.1 billion in 2012. Since then, the preclinical giant has greatly improved its outlook, projecting up to 3.5% sales growth for 2013, good for as much as $1.2 billion. Last quarter, revenue came in at $292.1 million, 4.8% over the same period last year, and net income grew roughly 40% to $31.2 million.

- read the statement

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