said Wednesday it has named Robert J. Bertolini as executive vice president and chief financial officer, effective Nov. 17.

Bertolini, 41, previously served as lead partner in PricewaterhouseCoopers' global pharmaceutical industry group. He will report to Fred Hassan, Schering-Plough's chairman and chief executive. Bertolini succeeds Jack L. Wyszomierski, who is leaving to pursue other interests, the company said.

"Bob's appointment is another important step ... to drive a turnaround and transform Schering-Plough," said Hassan.

Bertolini began his career at the former Coopers & Lybrand in 1983 and rose through the company's ranks, serving blue-chip global clients in the pharmaceutical industry, Schering-Plough said. Wyszomierski joined Schering-Plough in 1982. He was named executive vice president and chief financial officer in 1996, according to the company.

In October, the company

reported a net loss of $265 million, or 18 cents a share, compared with net income of $429 million, or 29 cents per diluted share, in the year-ago period. Sales in the quarter fell 16% from the year-ago period to $2.0 billion.

The company's allergy drugs Claritin and Clarinex have been hit hard by generic and over-the-counter competition. Also, the Intron drug franchise, once a mainstay of the hepatitis C market, has come under heavy pressure from


, which recently launched a competing product that's stealing market share.