PLAYTEX NAMES NEW PRESIDENT-CEO

Neil DeFeo Will Battle Once More With P&G

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CINCINNATI (AdAge.com) -- Playtex Products today named Neil P. DeFeo as its new president-CEO, effective immediately, replacing Michael Gallagher, who had announced his retirement earlier this year.

Mr. DeFeo was most recently CEO of

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Remington Products Co. prior to that company's acquisition last year by Rayovac Corp. He started his career at Procter & Gamble Co., he was sued in the early 1990s by his former company, which unsuccessfully tried to block his move to Clorox Co. as group vice president of U.S. operations.

Tampon brand wars
In his new role, Mr. DeFeo will be taking on P&G again. He'll oversee the Playtex tampon brand, the company's biggest business, but one which has been losing market share steadily since the 2002 launch of P&G's Tampax Pearl premium tampons.

Playtex made an abortive attempt to sell the company last year. And as recently as this summer, Playtex shopped some of its non-core brands, including Banana Boat sun care products and Woolite household cleaners, according to executives familiar with the situation, though it has yet to find a buyer. A Playtex spokesman declined to comment on the brand sales, other than to point to company statements that it "will continue to explore any strategic opportunities" that arise.

Grey Global Group, whose sale is pending to WPP Group, handles Playtex brands.

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