Eli Lilly CEO Lechleiter Returns to Post After Heart Surgery

Eli Lilly’s (NYSE:LLY) longtime CEO John Lechleiter returned to his post as chief executive on Monday after a nearly two-month medical leave as he recovered from scheduled heart surgery.

Lechleiter, 59, temporarily stepped down on May 13 to have surgery on a dilated aorta. Lilly said his surgery and recovery were successful and he has been cleared by his personal physician and the    company’s physician to return to work full time.

"I return to Lilly with renewed energy and enthusiasm, along with a new perspective on health and wellness and the critical importance of new medicines in advancing patient care,” he said in a statement.

During his absence, chief financial officer Derica Rice stepped up as interim CEO and lead independent director Ellen Mararm served as active chairman. Both have since returned to their primary duties.

Lechleiter has been at Lilly since 1979, where he was hired as a senior organic chemist. He held management positions in the U.S. and England and was promoted to CEO in September 2008 after three years as chief operating officer.