Alcon's Sear retires; Rayment takes helm as president, CEO

August 1, 2004

Fort Worth, TX-The ophthalmic community can expect a seamless transition at Alcon Laboratories Inc. when Tim Sear retires Oct. 1 as president and chief executive officer. Sear announced his retirement from the eye-care company, based in Fort Worth, TX, on July 12.

Fort Worth, TX-The ophthalmic community can expect a seamless transition at Alcon Laboratories Inc. when Tim Sear retires Oct. 1 as president and chief executive officer. Sear announced his retirement from the eye-care company, based in Fort Worth, TX, on July 12.

The company also announced that Kevin Buehler, 47, vice president, Latin America, Canada, and Far East, will be promoted to senior vice president, Alcon United States. He has been with Alcon for 20 years in a variety of positions.

Shortly after the announcement that Rayment will be taking over the company's reins, Alcon management reported global sales of $1,039.2 million for the second quarter of 2004, an increase of 12.3% over global sales in the second quarter of 2003, or 9.9% excluding the impact of foreign exchange fluctuations.

The increase reflects the expectation of a higher gross profit margin, due partly to the favorable currency factors and product mix. Also, the company has realized production efficiencies from the transfer of contact-lens-care manufacturing from Madrid, Spain, to Fort Worth, TX, which occurred in 2003's second half.

Alcon had sales of $3.4 billion and profits of $595 million in 2003.

That said, it is not expected that the stock market or the industry will be greatly affected by the leadership transition, other than to be reassured that an important company needs only to look inside its ranks when vacancies occur at the top of the management suite. Analysts say that Alcon has traditionally positioned its leadership team as one that presents a strong, consistent front and message both inside and outside the company.

Alcon is more than 50 years old. It develops, manufactures, and markets pharmaceuticals, surgical equipment and devices, contact lens solutions, and other vision care products that treat diseases, disorders, and other conditions of the eye. Nestle S.A. of Vevey, Switzerland, owns about 75% of Alcon stock.

Sear joined Alcon in Sydney, Australia, in 1971 and held increasingly responsible positions, including serving 14 years as chairman. He began his career in pharmaceuticals in international management assignments with Mead Johnson International, moving to the United States, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Australia, and Hong Kong. He and his family have been in Texas since 1975.