After 37 years, eight as chief executive officer, John Lechleiter has announced plans to retire from Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Co. (NYSE: LLY) at the end of the year. The pharmaceutical maker says Senior Vice President Dave Ricks will take the helm January 1 and become board chair June 1. Lechleiter, who currently leads the company and the board, will serve as non-executive chairman of the board through May 31.
Lechleiter calls it a "logical time" to make the change, as the company continues to navigate a new era that follows a string of patent expirations. "Dave Ricks is a capable, decisive and energetic leader who is very well prepared to succeed me as CEO. He brings to the role broad experience in Lilly’s commercial operations along with an appreciation and understanding of research and development. He previously led Lilly’s business operations in Canada, China, and the U.S. Since 2012, he has successfully guided Lilly’s largest business area, Lilly Bio-Medicines, through a period of profound change. He is well respected inside and outside the company, consistently builds exceptional teams, and sets high standards of performance. Dave is well suited to help Lilly capitalize on the opportunities before it, as well as to confront the inevitable challenges that lie ahead. He will provide outstanding leadership for our company in the coming years."
Ricks’ successor as president of Lilly Bio-Medicines, a position he has held since 2012, will be announced at a later date.
Tuesday, Lilly detailed its revamped pipeline of potential treatments, 20 in all, covering 10 years.