This is the first cfo replacement to be announced since a rash of cfo departures began this spring. Among the others: Pfizer's Alan Levin, Amgen's Richard Nanula, AstraZeneca's Jon Symonds and Merck's Judy Lewent.
Given the difficulties in dealing with investors anxious over pipelines and the sudden competition for talent, the other companies may wind up doing what Wyeth did today - promote from within. There's speculation, for instance, that Merck may tap someone from one of its other units, such as Merck Frosst, to replace Lewent. After all, why wouldn't a medium-sized cog want to be a big cog?