Former Quintiles exec John Ratliff takes top job at LabCorp’s Covance unit

Medical testing company LabCorp ($LH), after buying up NJ-headquartered CRO Covance in a deal worth just over $6 billion last year, has now decided on a full-time CEO for its new drug development unit.

The acquisitive company said in a statement that it has chosen John Ratliff to be its leader of Covance, a man who spent 10 years at major CRO Quintiles as its CFO, COO and then president and COO, before becoming more recently the president and CEO of HUYA Bioscience.

He will from Oct. 1 also become a member of the LabCorp executive committee and will report to David King, chairman and CEO of the parent company.

But this leaves no room at the inn for long-time Covance exec Deborah Keller, who has been at the company since 1987--although she was only CEO for just over a year, taking over from Joseph Herring last August in the midst of the merger deal.

She said: “It has been a fantastic career and a privilege to support Covance’s important work over the last three decades. I want to sincerely thank the tremendous colleagues and clients with whom I have had the pleasure to work over many years.”

The statement did not say whether she would be retiring completely or moving on to another company, but said she was leaving the company “following successful integration efforts” after last year’s merger.