Cephalon picks up one executive from Wyeth

As Pfizer Inc. begins digesting Wyeth, be on the lookout for more announcements like the one made by Cephalon Inc. Tuesday.

The Frazer biopharmaceutical company said it hired Bob Repella as senior vice president for its U.S. pharmaceutical operations. He’d been executive vice president and general manager of the Biopharma Business Unit for Wyeth Pharmaceuticals.

Repella is actually taking on the responsibilities of two former Cephalon executives. Michael Mulholland, who Cephalon spokeswoman Sheryl Williams said left several months ago, had been in charge of U.S. pharmaceutical operations, except for oncology.

Elizabeth Barrett, who had been vice president and general manager for Cephalon’s oncology business unit, left in March to join Pfizer, where she is regional U.S. president for its oncology business unit.

Repella had been at Wyeth for 16 years, and one of the products he was responsible for was Enbrel, a treatment for arthritis and other immune system diseases. Cephalon, which sells the chemotherapy drug Treanda, has been building its oncology product pipeline.

Pfizer has said it expects to cut its workforce by 15 percent, or 20,000 jobs; how that will affect the 4,500 people who worked for Wyeth in the Philadelphia suburbs is still unclear.

But big mergers also prompt employees, including executives, to test the free-agent market. Consider this one of the first signings.

CEOs as fans

There’s nothing like the World Series to bring out the fan in everyone, including CEOs.

Richard C. Ill, the head of Wayne-based Triumph Group Inc., started his remarks to analysts on a conference call Tuesday, saying:

Good morning and good morning from Philadelphia, home of the steroid-free world champions who are poised and ready to repeat.

Guess Ill’s not too worried about upsetting Triumph’s biggest customer, Chicago-based Boeing Co., but his aerospace company also does a lot of work with Sikorsky Aircraft, which calls home the part of Connecticut that is definitely Yankees territory.

A bit more reserved, William P. Hankowsky, chairman and CEO of Malvern-based Liberty Property Trust, closed his conference call with:

I hope everybody enjoys the World Series. We will be watching closely.