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Wyeth Names Vice Chairmen

Bernard Poussot and Kenneth Martin take on expanded roles.



has granted new titles and new responsibilities to a pair of top executives, the drugmaker said Thursday.

Bernard Poussot and Kenneth J. Martin were named vice chairmen in a move that a company spokesman says "recognizes their solid performance and enhances their management role."

Although Robert Essner, the chairman and chief executive, is 58, the move suggests that Poussot, 54, and Martin, 52, are the most likely candidates to succeed him. Both had held the highest titles and highest salaries at Wyeth except for Essner, who has been chairman since January 2003 and CEO since May 2001.

Poussot was also named president, taking a title that Essner had held since July 2000. In addition to his current leadership of Wyeth's drug business and research and development efforts, Poussot also will take charge of the animal health and consumer products divisions. He joined the company in 1986 and became the head of worldwide pharmaceuticals in 1997.

Martin retains his job as chief financial officer and will assume additional responsibilities for information services and global business operations. Martin joined Wyeth in 1984, holding management posts until his promotion to chief financial officer in 2000.