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Management shakeup continues at Sanofi-Aventis

BY Jim Frederick

PARIS Drug maker Sanofi-Aventis SA said Wednesday that its top legal and financial officer has stepped down, extending a management shuffle that led to the appointment of a new chief executive, GlaxoSmithKline PLC veteran Chris Viehbacher, Dec. 1.

In the latest change, Sanofi announced the abrupt resignation yesterday of Jean-Claude Leroy, a 23-year company veteran who last served as executive vice president of finance and legal affairs. As of Dec. 10, His replacements are Laurence Debroux, senior vice president and chief financial officer, and Karen Linehan, senior vice president of legal affairs and general counsel.

Both have been named to Sanofi-Aventis’ executive committee and group management committee, and will report directly to the company’s new CEO, the French-based pharmaceutical firm announced.

Before coming to Sanofi, Viehbacher was president of North American pharmaceutical operations for GSK, and co-chairman of that company’s Portfolio Management Board, which oversees strategic decisions for research and development. At Sanofi, he’s expected to lead efforts to recharge the company’s drug-development pipeline and marketing prowess amid today’s difficult economic climate.

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Retail crime on the rise as nation faces deepening economic woes

BY Antoinette Alexander

ARLINGTON, Va. As the economic crunch tightens its grip on the nation, crimes against retailers appear to be on the rise, according to the findings of a recent survey released by The Retail Industry Leaders Association.

According to RILA’s Current Crime Trends Survey, both crimes of opportunity and sophisticated organized retail crime are on the rise across all retail segments.

The survey examines the observations from 52 of the largest and fastest growing retailers in the United States, ranging from food, drug and mass to specialty apparel, electronics and appliances, and fabric and craft retail.

The survey focuses on the time period associated with the current economic downtown and seeks to identify corresponding trends in unlawful activity.

Furthermore, retailers are reporting an alarming upward trend in crimes in regions not typically prone to such increases.

Among the findings:

• 84 percent report an increase in theft/amateur shoplifting

• 76 percent report an increase in financial fraud

• 80 percent report increases in organized retail crime

• 77 percent of specialty retailers report increases in organized retail crime.

In an effort to curb such activity, retailers report that they are working to make improvements in their operations, resource allocation and capital spending. They also continue to work with law enforcement and state and federal legislators to find solutions.

According to The Global Retail Theft Barometer, put out by the Centre for Retail Research, U.S. retailers spent nearly $12 billion last year on loss prevention efforts.

The reported increases in organized retail crime highlight a potential long-term issue, according to RILA. Such crimes involve crime rings that steal and stockpile large quantities of merchandise that they then sell often to unwitting buyers. The stolen merchandise is sold through flea markets, swap meets, pawn shops and increasingly through Internet auction sites. As the economy improves, organized retail crimes will likely continue as the criminal enterprises associated with organized retail crime become reliant on the revenue derived from the commission of this crime.

“Organized retail criminals are ramping up their activity. The resulting ability to fund additional crimes should be a concern to everyone,” said Paul Jones, vice president of asset protection at RILA.

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Febreze releases line of holiday-themed scented home candles, sprays

BY Jenna Duncan

CINCINNATI Febreze has added limited edition holiday scents to its home freshening product offerings which will be carried throughout its entire product lineup.

Home maintanence expert Laura Dellutir, aka the Health Housekeeper, is promoting Febreze’s new holiday scents and encouraging holiday hosts and hostesses to save money on decorating, entertaining and freshening up homes for the holidays by buying helpful items, such as Febreze Limited Edition Holiday Line candles and sprays.

“Given the state of the economy, many people are looking for cost-effective ways to pull off a grand gathering for family and friends this holiday season,” said Laura Dellutri, the Healthy Housekeeper.  “Febreze’s limited edition scents are offered in a variety of products to help invoke a warm and fresh seasonal atmosphere at home without breaking the bank.”

The limited edition holiday line of scents includes Febreze Air Effects Vanilla and Baking, Febreze Winter Evening and Warmth and Fresh Evergreen and Snow. These aromas are available in Febreze Air Effects, candles, Febreze Fabric Refresher decor items and the Febreze NOTICEables line of room fresheners. 

Febreze’s holiday scented items range in price from $2.99 to $7.99 and are available at select food, drug and mass retailers across the United States. 

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