AbbVie CFO to Retire as Competition Nears for Biggest Drug

(Bloomberg) -- AbbVie Inc. Chief Financial Officer William Chase plans to retire by the middle of next year, wrapping up a tenure at the drugmaker that began when it was spun off from Abbott Laboratories in 2013.

Robert Michael, 48, currently AbbVie’s controller, will take over as CFO effective immediately. Chase, 50, will become an executive vice president during the transition, the company said in a securities filing announcing the change.

Chief Executive Officer Richard Gonzalez, 64, thanked Chase in an internal memo sent to AbbVie employees, which was obtained by Bloomberg News.

“He has made a tremendous impact in helping us achieve the outstanding accomplishments we have made in our business performance and the culture of our company,” Gonzalez said.

Chase’s retirement announcement comes during the same week that AbbVie lost patent protections for its best-selling drug, Humira, in most countries in Europe.

While copycat versions of the drug won’t be available in the U.S. until 2023, shares in the North Chicago based-company have declined 7.8 percent this year as investors have wondered how it will replace lost revenue from the product. Humira brought in $18.4 billion in sales last year, about two-thirds of AbbVie’s total revenue.

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