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Last Updated: Monday, 23 October 2006, 16:56 GMT 17:56 UK
Wrigley's loses the family habit
Chewing gum
Wrigley has just under 50% of the world chewing gum market
The Wrigley family has handed leadership of the world's biggest chewing gum company to an outsider for the first time in its 115-year history.

New chief executive William Perez has joined the firm having previously led sportswear firm Nike and consumer goods firm SC Johnson.

Wrigley also beat market forecasts with a 14% rise in third quarter profit as global sales grew 11%.

The news sent the Chicago-based firm's shares 15% higher on US markets.

Family links

Revenues for the three months to 30 September hit $1.2bn (640m), while pre-tax profits came in at $213m.

Mr Perez replaces former chief executive Bill Wrigley, who will take the role of executive chairman at the company his great grandfather founded in 1891.

Analysts said that Mr Perez's experience in selling international branded consumer goods made him an ideal candidate for the role.

The change at Wrigley comes just weeks after car giant Ford announced that former Boeing commercial chief Alan Mulally would replace Bill Ford as chief executive.

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