Eli Lilly CEO Announces Retirement

July 29, 2016

Pharmaceutical Executive

July 29, 2016

On July 27, 2016, John C. Lechleiter, PhD, chairman, president, and CEO of Eli Lilly, announced his retirement from the company. This decision is effective December 31, 2016, however, Lechleiter will remain on the company’s board of directors until May 31, 2017 as a non-executive chairman. Lechleiter joined the company in 1979 as a senior organic chemist in process R&D. He has served as CEO of Eli Lilly since April 2008.

"As Lilly transitions from our recent challenging period of patent expirations to a new era of growth, it is the logical time for a transition in company leadership," Lechleiter said in a statement.

In light of Lechleiter’s retirement, the company’s board of directors have selected David A. Ricks, current senior vice-president of Lilly Bio-Medicines, to assume the role of president and CEO, effective January 1, 2017. Ricks will also become chairman of the Eli Lilly’s board of directors effective June 1, 2017. Ricks' successor as president of Lilly Bio-Medicines will be announced at a later date. Ricks joined Lilly in 1996 as a business development associate.

"Lilly has the right strategy. We've built a strong pipeline and have a promising portfolio of recently approved new medicines. Navigating major patent expirations in recent years, we've sharpened our focus and improved our vigilance and agility," Ricks said in a statement. 

In a second quarter earnings report released Tuesday the Indianapolis drugmaker said that it anticipates at least 5% average annual revenue growth by the end of the decade. Lechleiter commented, "Lilly is in the midst of one of the most productive periods of new product launches in our company's history, with new medicines making a substantial contribution to our revenue growth for the first half of the year.”

Source: Eli Lilly