New guard takes over Big Pharma

Turnover at the top of Big Pharma has been running at an unprecedented pace. And now, with fresh faces at the helm (or almost) at nine of the world's top 12 pharma companies, there's a new generation running things. Here's the list, in order of company size:

• Jeff Kindler, CEO of Pfizer (photo)
• Andrew Witty, CEO-apparent at GlaxoSmithKline (photo)
• Gérard Le Fur, CEO of Sanofi-Aventis (photo)
• Severin Schwan, CEO-to-be at Roche (photo)
• David Brennan, CEO at AstraZeneca (photo)
• Richard Clark, CEO at Merck (photo)
• Bernard Poussot, CEO at Wyeth (photo)
• Arthur Higgins, CEO of Bayer (photo)
• James Cornelius, CEO at Bristol-Myers Squibb (photo)

Unlike previous pharma leaders, this new generation aren't the sort of folk comfortable in a lab coat. They're businesspeople, not scientists. Only Le Fur of Sanofi-Aventis has a background in R&D. Brennan and Witty are sales-and-marketing types. McKinnell is a lawyer. They're also young, chock-full of international experience, and pharma insiders, at least most of them.

- read an analysis of the new guard from the Financial Times
- see this MSNBC report for more