Avery Dennison Corp., the giant label maker, named Dean A. Scarborough its president and chief executive, replacing Philip M. Neal, who remains chairman after leading the company for the past seven years.


The changeover is part of a "planned CEO transition," because Neal turns 65 in August, said company spokesman Charlie Coleman. "We always have had a clear succession plan here," he said.


Neal has steered Avery through difficult waters, including an ongoing criminal antitrust investigation by the Justice Department and potential fines by the European Union on allegations that it colluded with two competitors to fix prices in the pressure-sensitive label industry. Under Neal's watch, Avery made several acquisitions, including the purchase of Jackstadt, a German-based pressure-sensitive materials manufacturer, that loaded the company with debt.


Over the past five years, Avery's stock has risen a 25 percent to $60.30 a share.


Scarbarough, 49, has served as president and chief operating officer for the past five years and has spent 22 years at the company.


Avery, based in Pasadena, is one of the few remaining Fortune 500 firms in Los Angeles, with sales of $5.3 billion last year.

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