Wyeth’s Essner to retire in June

MADISON, N.J. Wyeth on Thursday announced that its chairman, Robert Essner, 60, has decided to retire from the company effective June 27. The company’s Board named Bernard Poussot, Wyeth’s current president and chief executive officer, to the additional position of chairman upon Essner’s retirement.

“We thank Bob for his outstanding contributions in leading our company,” stated John Mascotte, chairman of the Wyeth Board’s Nominating and Governance Committee. “Bob and Bernard have been a great team for many years, and this type of well-planned succession is in the best interests of the company, its employees and stockholders.”

“Bob successfully led Wyeth’s transformation from a holding company to what is now a world leader in pharmaceuticals that has grown in annual revenue from $14 billion in 2001 to more than $22 billion in 2007,” Poussot said. “During his tenure, Wyeth became a leader in biotechnology and thanks to his commitment, we now have one of the most extensive Alzheimer’s programs in the health care industry.”

Essner has held the position of Chairman since January 2003 and served as Wyeth’s chief executive officer from 2001 to 2007.

The announcement is the culmination of a succession plan that began in April 2006 when Poussot was promoted to president and vice chairman. In January 2007, he was named president and chief operating officer and was elected to the bompany’s He became chief executive officer on Jan. 1, 2008.

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