Allergan CEO receives honorary British title


Pyott will be 'invested' with the medal befitting his new title at a November ceremony at Buckingham Palace.

Sounding like a line out of an old fairy tale, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has named Allergan Inc.'s chairman and chief executive officer as a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.

Over the years, he held many jobs in general management and marketing positions with Sandoz in Europe and Asia, and as chief executive officer of Sandoz Nutrition Corp. in the United States. In 1995, he went on to head up the Sandoz Nutrition Division, and, after the company merged with CIBA/Geigy, he headed the Novartis Nutrition Division for Switzerland-based Novartis AG.

Demonstrating loyalty to the country of his birth, he relocated Allergan's European headquarters from Mougins, France, and other European locations to Marlow, Buckinghamshire, England, bringing hundreds of new jobs to his native land and streamlining business operations.

Grateful Britons commended his success by listing him among The(London)Times' top 25 most influential British expatriate senior business executives in the United States.

To show her appreciation, Queen Elizabeth selected Pyott in June as one of three new Commanders of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. The distinction, established by King George V in 1917 as a British order of chivalry, honors Pyott for his skills and contributions to British business excellence and his management skills in the United States.

"It's (for) people who have made some very distinguished contribution to transatlantic relations or business relations across the Atlantic, whatever it might be. Certainly that was the case with Mr. Pyott," explained Angus Mackay, vice consul for political, press, and public affairs for the British Consulate-general in Los Angeles.

The queen issues her list of honorees twice a year, once at the start of the year and again on her "official" birthday in June. The most recent list includes two other "commanders" in the same order as Pyott: Jeffrey Samuel Robinson for services to maternal and fetal health, and John Edmund Elliot Whittaker for charitable services in the United Kingdom and abroad.

The 26-page list also praises meritorious service by members of the police and royal military, as well as charitable works by British citizens working in disadvantaged areas of the world.

Pyott, 52, said he is deeply honored and humbled by the award, for which he was nominated by the British Diplomatic Service.

"To be recognized in this way is indeed a high-and quite unexpected-honor," he said. "It is particularly unusual to be recognized when one lives outside the United Kingdom, and in my case, I have been away from the country for 26 years. And, it is even more unusual to be recognized if one works for a non-British-owned company.

"It is also a bit humbling, because in part this award also recognizes Allergan's success-which is by no means due to me alone. Since joining Allergan in 1998 I've been most fortunate to work with very talented and dedicated colleagues who are committed to leading the way in critical areas of unmet medical need. I view this honor as one that recognizes not just my accomplishments, but the accomplishments of every employee at Allergan."

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