Eli Lilly's Taurel to retire next year; Lechleiter to assume CEO position

INDIANAPOLIS Eli Lilly announced today that Sidney Taurel will retire as chief executive officer on March 31 and will step down as chairman of the board at the end of 2008, according to the AssociatedPress. President and chief operating officer John Lechleiter will take over the role of chief executive officer on April 1.

Taurel has been Lilly’s chief executive officer since July 1998 and chairman since January 1999. He joined Lilly in 1971 as a marketing associate in Eli Lilly International, and over the next couple of decades took on the role of vice president of Lilly’s European operations, and then moved to Indianapolis as president of Lilly International.

“I am grateful to have spent nearly 37 years with this great company, and deeply honored to have had the opportunity to lead it for the last ten,” Taurel said in a statement. “John has been preparing for his new role as my successor for several years, and 2008 is the right time for him to assume his place as the leader of the company.”

Lechleiter, who joined Lilly in 1979, has served as president and chief operating officer since October 2005. He will continue as president in addition to his new role of chief executive officer.

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