Biogen board promises to name a new CEO soon

With Biogen Idec CEO James Mullen (photo) headed off into retirement this week, the board of directors says that they're just weeks away from tapping his successor. And with Carl Icahn at the corporate gates calling for heads to roll, they added that COO Robert Hamm will be a step behind him as he retires at the end of the year.

Mullen and the entire executive group in charge of running Biogen Idec, one of the biggest biotechs in the world, have been treated to a barrage of criticism from Icahn, who's been promising to shake things up in a battle for control of the company. It's doubtful that a change of the guard engineered by the board would calm the roiled waters now.

"We expect to announce the appointment shortly," said Chairman William Young, who is taking over as an interim chief until the permanent replacement is named.

There was one promotion to report at Biogen. John G. Cox has been promoted to the new position of executive vice president of pharmaceutical operations and technology. Cox's new job entails overseeing the company's global manufacturing, technical development, supply chain, engineering and facilities operations across the globe. He joined Biogen Idec in 2003 and most recently served as senior vice president of global manufacturing and operations.

- check out Biogen's release for more info