Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health USA Inc. on Jan. 29 announced the appointment of Everett Hoekstra as its president.

Hoekstra succeeds Paul Fonteyne, who retired after 15 years with Boehringer Ingelheim. He takes the helm two years after Boehringer Ingelheim's animal-health business acquired Merial from Sanofi.

Together with Timothy Bettington, who leads the company's U.S. commercial operations, Hoekstra will oversee the company's largest animal health market and help drive continued growth and innovation in an industry undergoing significant change due to consolidation and technological advances.

Hoekstra has held a variety of leadership roles since joining Boehringer Ingelheim in 1997, mainly in finance at the company's human pharmaceutical business. He also co-led the launch of Boehringer Ingelheim's global diabetes alliance with Eli Lilly and Company and most recently served as chief financial officer of the U.S. animal health business.

A native of Iowa, Hoekstra spent 12 years early in his career as co-owner and business manager for a veterinary group in the Midwest. As part of that group, he helped build several successful veterinary agriculture businesses, including a swine biologics business (today part of Boehringer Ingelheim), a veterinary distribution company (today part of Animal Health International of the Patterson group of companies), and a bovine reproductive technology services company (Trans Ova Genetics).

"Those experiences gave me a deep appreciation of the invaluable contributions veterinarians make every day," Hoekstra said. "Preventing disease in pets and livestock – and keeping animals healthy – contributes to human health and wellbeing.  I look forward to helping advance Boehringer Ingelheim's legacy as a leader, good steward and key innovator in the animal health industry."