Picture: Simphiwe Mbokazi

Johannesburg - Local drugmaker Adcock Ingram Holdings named an industry newcomer and a veteran executive from its top shareholder as its new head on Thursday.

The appointment of Kevin Wakeford followed the widely expected resignation of Jonathan Louw this week, whose leadership of the struggling firm had been criticised by top shareholder Bidvest Group.

The pharmaceutical industry is unchartered territory for Wakeford, who spent 10 years with Bidvest and headed its travel and aviation unit for the past three years.

“The board decided that strong business skills are what is required to lead Adcock Ingram's recovery and growth into the future,” Adcock Chairman Brian Joffe said in a statement.

Joffe is also the CEO of Bidvest, which owns more than third of South Africa's second-largest drugmaker.