Alliance Pharma founder bows out after 23 years having developed a global business

July 1, 2019

The founder of specialty healthcare firm Alliance Pharma has stepped down from its board after more than 20 years, leaving it as a £353m international company.

John Dawson, pictured, formed the Chippenham-headquartered firm 23 years ago. It has since then developed a strong track record of acquiring the rights to underperforming drugs brands and realising their potential through investment. 

Today it owns or licenses the rights to around 90 pharmaceutical and consumer healthcare products that sell in more than 100 countries worldwide via direct sales, joint ventures and a wide network of distributors. 

Mr Dawson, 70, stepped down as chief executive in May last year as part of a boardroom shake-up but remained a non-executive director.

Today Alliance, which has been quoted on the London Stock Exchange since 2005, said he had decided to step down from the company completely, effective from yesterday.

He said: “The company is in good hands with a strong board following the planned board changes over the past 12 months.

“As such, and in light of the fact that I will soon be participating in the 2019/20 Clipper Round the World Ocean Yacht Race, I have decided that it is time to move on.”

Alliance Pharma chairman David Cook thanked him, on behalf of the board, for his “dedication, commitment and service” to the firm.

Its CEO Peter Butterfield added: “It has been a real pleasure to have worked closely with John for over 10 years and to see the company he founded go from strength to strength.”

During a 40-plus year career in the pharmaceutical industry Mr Dawson worked in various senior roles at Sandoz (now Novartis AG) before founding Alliance Pharma. 

The firm’s buy-and-build strategy was highlighted in 2017 when, in one week, it bought pesticide-free head lice treatment Vamousse from US natural treatment firm Tyra Tech and anaesthetic gel Ametop from global medical firm Smith & Nephew.

Alliance Pharma’s shares eased by 1.2% to 67.2p this morning following the announcement.





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