Orange County Business Journal

Mission Control

Allergan Exec’s Career Didn’t ‘Just Fall Out of the Sky’ Vita Reed Sunday, June 16, 2013

One of what became Botox’s most popular uses came about indirectly as a result of Allergan’s research on Oculinum for blepharospasm treatment.

“It was noted that there was this effect on wrinkles around the eyes, as well,” Salo said. “And that was sort of what started the whole cosmetic application of Oculinum.”

Salo continued on her career path at Allergan, including being what she said was the first non-American to get a job in domestic marketing at the company in the mid-1990s.

Salo worked with other Allergan bellwether products, including glaucoma drugs Alphagan and Lumigan; dry eye treatment Restasis; and Sanctura XR, a treatment for overactive bladder that Allergan got through its buy of New Jersey-based Esprit Pharma.

She also went to Europe to serve Allergan’s commercial United Kingdom and Ireland ophthalmic unit. She later returned to the Botox fold, serving as marketing director for the drug’s therapeutic business, which primarily treats movement disorders.

She later ran Allergan Medical’s domestic plastic surgery franchise for four years prior to her new appointment in January.

“They really felt strongly … they wanted a woman to run that business, and I happened to be the best candidate for it,” Salo said.

Giving Back

Salo, an alumna of the University of Toronto and University of Southern California, also gives back. She’s a member of numerous boards, such as Allergan’s foundation and political action committee, the Medical Device Manufacturers Association, Girls Inc.-Orange County and Susan G. Komen for the Cure-Orange County. She also supports the Orange County United Way’s Women’s Philanthropy Society.

Salo said her desire to help other women in business and in life stemmed from her mother, who was a women’s rights activist in their native Montreal.

Page 2 of 2

Next