"We fell from a strong No. 1 to a weak No. 2," she said.
In 2006, the company was also hit by a massive recall of its contact lens solution, which was linked to a potentially blinding eye infection.
It was during that crisis when Moe was recruited to head Bausch & Lomb`s Korean operation. At the time, she was serving as a global marketing director at the U.S. headquarters of Merck and Co., a leading pharmaceutical firm. Before moving to Merck and Co., she was a marketer at P&G Korea and P&G Japan.
Since taking the helm of the troubled Bausch & Lomb Korea in April 2006, Moe has brought sweeping changes to the company, replacing managers and revamping the company`s product portfolio.
The company voluntarily pulled six of its 11 types of lenses from the shelves. That move has drastically reduced the product return rate and enhanced the business` predictability and transparency, Moe said.
Her efforts have paid off, with the company`s sales growing 20 to 30 percent annually since she took office.
"Our sales and P&L (profit and loss statement) were devastating. But now, we have one of the healthiest P&L (among global operations of Bausch & Lomb," she said.
Asked about what lens she is wearing, she said the "purevision," a lens that can be worn continuously for up to one month - even during sleep.
As to its surgical business, the company plans to expand further the cataract and refractive eye surgery markets.
This year, Bausch & Lomb agreed to form a joint venture with 20/10 Perfect Vision AG, the laser developer based in Germany. Early this year, Bausch & Lomb also acquired Eyeonics Inc., which makes an intraocular lens used in treating cataracts.
By Jin Hyun-joo