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Wyeth Names New CEO

Bernard Poussot will assume the post at the new year.

Wyeth

(WYE)

on Thursday named Bernard Poussot chief executive officer, effective Jan. 1, to replace current CEO Robert Essner who's retiring. Poussot was formerly the president and vice chairman of the pharmaceutical company.

Poussot has been with Wyeth since 1986. He was appointed to president and vice chairman in April 2006, and to president, chief operating officer and vice chairman in January of 2007.

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In a separate announcement, Wyeth said its board approved an increase in its previously authorized share repurchase program to up to $5 billion -- including about $1.2 billion in stock buybacks already completed this year. It intends to fund the share repurchase program with cash from operations.

Shares closed up 9 cents, or 0.2%, at $44.79 Thursday.