Agilent's

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Ned Barnholt said Wednesday that he'd retire in March.

The tech measurement products outfit named Bill Sullivan to take over the CEO post and tapped outside director James Cullen as nonexecutive chairman.

The Palo Alto, Calif., offspring of

Hewlett-Packard

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said Barnholt had led the company since its 1999 spinoff from H-P. The company said Sullivan, who had been chief operating officer, will take over March 1.

"The past six years as Agilent's CEO have been rewarding ones for me," said Barnholt. "While I will miss this important part of my life, I look forward to what lies ahead. I leave Agilent with a great sense of pride in terms of what we have accomplished."

On Wednesday, Agilent slipped 37 cents to $22.06.