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King Pharmaceuticals


shares rose 1.2% on Friday, after the beleaguered drugmaker made its interim CEO a permanent member of the executive suite.

The Bristol, Tenn.-based company announced that Brian Markinson, who had been serving as the interim CEO after the sudden departure of former boss Jefferson Gregory, Jr. in mid-May, will be taking over as president, CEO, and has been elected to the board of directors. Prior to joining King as COO in March 2004, Markinson was a 22-year veteran at

Bristol-Myers Squibb

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"Since joining King earlier this year, I have grown even more confident in the ability of our company and its employees to successfully enhance shareholder value as we more fully leverage the superb foundation and capabilities that our company has worked hard to establish," said Markinson, in a statement.

In reaction, King shares rose 13 cents to $10.70.

Markinson inherits the throne at a company beset with problems, including an ongoing

Securities and Exchange Commission

investigation into its billing practices. The SEC is concerned that King had underpaid Medicaid for several of its drugs.

In early May, King's first-quarter results were a third of what they were a year ago and missed Wall Street expectations by 22 cents a share. The company also withdrew its guidance for the remainder of 2004, because of inventory problems.