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PerkinElmer to restructure into 2 units next year

By Todd Wallack
Globe Staff / November 11, 2008
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PerkinElmer Inc., a life sciences company that has long resembled a conglomerate with its array of technology businesses ranging from genetic screening to lighting, has reorganized into two broad related divisions - environmental and human health.

Chief executive Robert Friel said the new structure, which takes effect Jan. 1, will help the Waltham company better communicate its mission to customers, employees, and partners.

"PerkinElmer was always a difficult company to explain," said Friel, who was named CEO this year. "Now we are going to explain very simply what it does - improve the health and safety of people and the environment."

Friel said he will temporarily lead the human health division, which will include the genetic screening, bio-discovery, and medical imaging units. John Roush, who now runs the optoelectronics business, will run the environmental health division, which will include analytical sciences, laboratory services, and detection units, as well as the detection and illumination division, which was formerly the sensors and specialty-lighting unit.

PerkinElmer also said it will consider selling its consumer lighting business, which accounts for $90 million in annual revenue - about 5 percent of the company's total - or other strategic options. The lighting business does not have any significant presence in Massachusetts. Most of its operations are on the West Coast and in Asia and Western Europe.

PerkinElmer, which was founded in 1947 as EG&G, has 9,100 employees, including more than 700 in Massachusetts. To help promote the reorganization, PerkinElmer said it plans to replace its tagline "Precisely" with the phrase "For the better."

Todd Wallack can be reached at twallack@globe.com.

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