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Amgen CEO Kevin Sharer to retire

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Longtime Amgen Inc. Chief Executive Kevin W. Sharer will step down in May and will be replaced by President and Chief Operating Officer Robert Bradway, the biotech giant said.

The Thousand Oaks company said Bradway also is expected to be named chairman of the board when Sharer, 63, relinquishes that post at the end of 2012.

Sharer has been with the company for 20 years, serving as CEO and chairman since 2000. Amgen said annual revenue has reached nearly $16 billion with operations in 55 countries during Sharer’s tenure, up from $3.6 billion in revenue and a presence in 17 countries before he assumed the top jobs.

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Amgen would not make Sharer available for comment. But in a statement, Vance Coffman, chairman of the board’s governance and nominating committee, credited Sharer, who is retiring, for the firm’s success over the last decade.

“During that time, Amgen grew significantly in every dimension and is well positioned for the future,” Coffman said.

The executive changes come nearly two months after Amgen announced plans to lay off about 380 employees in its research and development division as it seeks to restructure operations to focus on new drugs in later stages of development.

The layoffs at facilities in the United States and England account for about 6% of Amgen’s total 6,700 workers in research and development. Amgen has about 17,600 workers worldwide.

Bradway, 48, will be the company’s fourth chief executive. He joined Amgen in 2006 as a vice president in operations. He was appointed chief financial officer one year later, and named president and COO in 2010.

Amgen announced two other executive-level changes Thursday: Dr. Roger Perlmutter, 59, will retire as executive vice president of research and development in February and work with Amgen as a consultant for a year. He will be succeeded that month by Dr. Sean Harper, 49, who is currently a senior vice president and chief medical officer.

Amgen shares rose $1 to $58.62.

duke.helfand@latimes.com


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