Eli Lilly and Company has announced that John C. Lechleiter, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, will retire as President and CEO and from the company on 31 December.
Lechleiter will continue on Lilly's board of directors until 31 May 2017 as non-executive chairman, at which time he will leave the board.
David A. Ricks, currently Senior Vice President and President at Lilly Bio-Medicines, will assume the role of President and CEO and join the board on 1 January 2017. He will become Chairman of the board on 1 June next year.
'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,' said Lechleiter.
'Dave Ricks is a capable, decisive and energetic leader who is very well prepared to succeed me as CEO.'
Lechleiter added: 'He brings to the role broad experience in Lilly's commercial operations along with an appreciation and understanding of research and development.'
Ricks previously led Lilly's business operations in Canada, China and the US.
Since 2012, he has guided Lilly's largest business area, Lilly Bio-Medicines, through a period of profound change.
John Lechleiter is retiring as President and CEO of Eli Lilly on 31 December
Lechleiter has been Lilly's CEO since 1 April 2008, and Chairman of its board since 1 January 2009. He joined Lilly in 1979 as a senior organic chemist in process research and development.
In the mid-1980s he was Director of Pharmaceutical Product Development for the Lilly Research Centre in the UK.
He later held roles in project management, regulatory affairs, product development, and pharma operations.
In 2005, he was named President and Chief Operating Officer and joined the board of directors.
'The prospect of leading Eli Lilly and Company is at the same time humbling and tremendously exciting,' said Ricks. 'Lilly has the right strategy. We've built a strong pipeline and have a promising portfolio of recently approved new medicines.'
Ricks' successor as President of Lilly Bio-Medicines will be announced at a later date.
Since January 2012, Ricks has been President of Lilly Bio-Medicines, which encompasses the therapeutic areas of Alzheimer's disease, urology, immunology, musculoskeletal disease, and pain, as well as the company's global marketing function.
Ricks is on the board of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) and has been co-chair of the Trans-Atlantic Business Dialogue.
After joining Lilly in 1996 as a business development associate, Ricks held several management roles in US marketing and sales before moving to Lilly Canada, where he was moved from Director of Pharmaceutical Marketing to National Sales Director and General Manager.
He was subsequently named President and General Manager of Lilly China before becoming President of Lilly USA in 2009.
Ricks has a bachelor's degree in business from Purdue University and joined Lilly following completion of his MBA from Indiana University.