Ex-Wyeth chief Essner joins Carlyle Group

Private equity is fast becoming a magnet for ex-pharma CEOs. The latest former exec to join ranks of a private equity group? Robert Essner (photo), who retired as chief executive of Wyeth back in June 2008--before the company's takeover by Pfizer.

Essner is joining The Carlyle Group, one of the biggest PE firms, as a senior advisor to its global healthcare group. He'll be offering his pharma wisdom as the firm considers potential investments in the sector and manages the companies it already owns.

Essner joins a select club of pharma CEOs-turned-investment-advisors. Ex-Schering-Plough chief Fred Hassan (photo) joined up with private equity firm Warburg Pincus; he's since taken a chairmanship at eye-care specialist Bausch & Lomb, which Warburg Pincus bought in the wake of troubles with contaminated lens-care solutions. Jean-Pierre Garnier (photo) joined Dubai International Capital, the sovereign wealth fund, just after his exit from the CEO job at GlaxoSmithKline.

And it's not just pharma: As Reuters notes, investment firms have been hiring former executives from various industries for their expertise. Who's next?

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