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Lilly CEO Lechleiter to retire; Ricks to succeed

John Lechleiter, Chairman, president and CEO of Eli Lily.
Mark Neuling | CNBC

Eli Lilly said on Wednesday Chief Executive John Lechleiter would retire by the end of the year and would be succeeded by senior vice president David Ricks on January 1.

Lechleiter joined Lilly in 1979 as a senior organic chemist, and became the CEO in April 2008.

Lilly on Tuesday reported better-than-expected quarterly sales, fueled by newer drugs, and predicted average annual revenue growth of at least 5 percent through the end of the decade due to its growing roster of medicines.

The Indianapolis drugmaker's earnings growth resumed last year after three years of tumbling sales caused by competition from generic drugs.