Colman M. Mockler Jr., the chairman of Gillette Co. who helped the company tighten its grip on the world shaving products market, died Friday after a heart attack. He was 61.
Mockler, who had announced last fall that he would retire at the end of 1991, died at Gillette headquarters, the company said.
During his tenure as chairman, which began in 1976, Mockler helped guide Gillette through two takeover battles and oversaw a major restructuring.
His career was capped last year with the introduction of Gillette’s Sensor razor, considered the company’s most important product in years. The razor became such a hot-selling item that Forbes magazine devoted the cover story of its Feb. 4 issue to Mockler and his achievements.
On the cover, an artist’s rendition shows Mockler brandishing a giant razor, standing atop a mountain while vanquished competitors claw the rocks below.
“He was an outstanding man,” said Joseph Duggan, a Boston Chamber of Commerce official who had frequent dealings with Gillette. “He brought them through so many trials and tribulations recently.”
Mockler joined Gillette in 1957 as staff assistant to the controller and was named treasurer in 1965. After a series of promotions, he was elected chief executive officer in 1975.
A native of St. Louis, Mockler attended Harvard University and Harvard Business School, where he graduated in 1954.