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Bristol-Myers, Celgene finalize executive team; head of R&D to step down

As Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. and Celgene Corp. get ready to tie the knot in a $95 billion acquisition, the companies are combining their executive teams, and Bristol-Myers' executive vice president and chief scientific officer Tom Lynch will step down from his role in October.

Lynch joined Bristol-Myers in March 2017 as a research oncologist and member of the company's board of directors, from which he stepped down at the time. According to a release from Bristol-Myers, Lynch will "pursue opportunities in healthcare."

Lynch will be replaced by two executives, one from Celgene and another from Novartis AG.

Rupert Vessey, who is the president of research and early development at Celgene, will step into the same position at the newly combined company. Samit Hirawat of Novartis, where he was the executive vice president and head of oncology, will become Bristol-Myers' chief medical officer in global drug development.

Beyond R&D, Bristol-Myers announced the planned executive layout of the combined company, which will include Celgene's David Elkins as CFO to replace current position holder Charles Bancroft, who will retire in 2020.

Additionally, Celgene president of global hematology and oncology Nadim Ahmed will become president of hematology at the new Bristol-Myers, a position that oversees the company's cell therapy arm.

Bristol-Myers CEO and board Chairman Giovanni Caforio will continue in his role, the company said.