Sidney Taurel is to retire as chief executive of Eli Lilly, effective March 31, 2008. In his place, Eli Lillys current president and chief operating officer Dr John Lechleiter will assume the role of president and chief executive as of April 1. Taurel, who will remain as chairman until December 31 next year, has been the drug giants chief executive since July 1998. He originally joined the company in 1971 as a marketing associate in Eli Lilly International. Taurel was the general manager of the companys affiliate in Brazil before assuming the London-based role of vice president of Eli Lillys European operations in 1983. In 1986, he moved to Indianapolis to become president of Eli Lilly International. In 1993 he was named an executive vice president of the company and president of the pharmaceutical division, and in 1996 was promoted to president and chief operating officer of the corporation. I am grateful to have spent nearly 37 years with this great company, and deeply honoured to have had the opportunity to lead it for the last 10, Taurel said in a statement. I believe that 2008 is the right time for me to retire for a number of reasons. First, the company has executed very well over the past couple of years, exceeding both our and our shareholders expectations. As a result, the company is operationally very sound and positioned for continued success. Second, I and the senior leadership team have laid out a vision for the company that will guide Lilly for many years to come, and this gives me great confidence about Lillys future success. And third, 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 was unanimously selected by the board of directors, upon Taurels recommendation, to take on the new role. Lechleiter joined the company in 1979 as a senior organic chemist. He has since had several director roles, was vice president of regulatory affairs, executive vice president of pharmaceutical products and corporate development, and executive vice president of pharmaceutical operations. In October 2005, Lechleiter stepped into the role of president and chief operating officer. John is as prepared to lead this company as any chief executive in our history, Taurel said. His decisive leadership, his personal style, and his deep experiences across the entire value chain of our business uniquely qualify him to step into this role in April. He is well-respected across the industry, he inspires Lilly employees, and he embodies the companys core values. Lechleiter said he was humbled and excited by the opportunity to lead the company. Meanwhile, Shire is also undergoing a reshuffle in the top spots. Matthew Emmens will be stepping down as chief executive and will be replaced by the companys chief financial officer Angus Russell. Emmens, who leaves the top position after 34 years of industry experience, will step into the role of non-executive chairman succeeding Dr James Cavanaugh, who retires from the position. Russell has been chief financial officer for the company since 1999. He has 27 years experience in the pharmaceutical industry, including working for ICI, Zeneca and AstraZeneca in finance, strategy and marketing. Packaging manufacturer Pregis Corporation has appointed Kevin Baudhuin as president of protective packaging North America. Baudhuin replaces Andy Brewer, who left Pregis last month. Prior to joining Pregis, Baudhuin worked with The BOC Group for more than 20 years, where he held positions of increasing responsibility in general management, sales and marketing and most recently serving as president of industrial and special products North America. Kevin brings extensive experience working with distributors and driving business growth, both organically and through acquisitions, Pregis president and chief executive Michael McDonnell said. We are pleased to welcome Kevin and look forward to his success in leading our North American protective packaging operations. Meanwhile, Brent Harpham has joined Eisai as a quality control manager. Previously, Harpham was a senior manager of quality control at Momenta Pharmaceuticals, and prior to that, a QC manager at Millennium Pharmaceuticals.