NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Drug manufacturer Eli Lilly (LLY) - Get Report announced John Lichleiter will retire as CEO and president at the end of the year, CNBC's Joe Kernen reported on "Squawk Box" Wednesday.

The board of Eli Lilly has elected David Ricks, current President of Lilly Bio-Medicines, to assume the role of president and CEO on January 1, 2017. Ricks will become chairman of the board six months later. Lichlaear will continue as chairman until the end of May 2017, Kernen said.

"As Lilly transitions from our recent challenging period of patent expiration to a new era of growth, it is the logical time for a transition in company leadership," Lechleiter said in a statement.

Eli Lilly is going through transitions from a difficult period to a new period of growth, it's logical for the company to transition company leadership as well, Kernen said.

Shares of Eli Lilly are up by 0.83% to $82.77 this morning. 

Separately, TheStreet Ratings has this stock as a "buy" with a ratings score of B. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity, reasonable valuation levels, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and expanding profit margins. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

TheStreet Ratings objectively rated this stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon. Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this articles's author. 

You can view the full analysis from the report here: LLY

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