Top-ranked woman to retire from J&J

There's another big executive departure coming in the world of Big Pharma: this time it's Christine Poon (photo), vice chairman of Johnson & Johnson and worldwide chair of its pharmaceuticals division. Poon, 56, plans to retire on March 1, J&J announced today, saying that it will announce a succession plan "in a timely fashion."

With 20 years in pharma, 15 of them at Bristol-Myers Squibb before she joined J&J, Poon has been a heavyweight in the industry. She's the top-ranked woman in the drug business, and, according to Forbes, one of the most respected. The magazine ranked her as the 26th most powerful woman in business in 2006.

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