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Savient's Johnson leaves for Dendreon

February 2, 2012 1:42 AM UTC

John Johnson resigned as president and CEO of Savient Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:SVNT) to become president, CEO and chairman-elect of Dendreon Corp. (NASDAQ:DNDN). Johnson succeeds Mitchell Gold, who will serve as chairman until June 30, at which point Johnson will become chairman and Gold will continue as a director. Johnson has been a member of Dendreon's board since August. Johnson also was formerly president of the oncology business unit at Eli Lilly and Co. (NYSE:LLY) and was CEO of ImClone Systems Inc., which Lilly acquired in 2008.

At Savient, board member David Norton will replace Johnson as interim CEO. Norton is the former company group chairman for global pharmaceuticals at Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ). Dendreon was up $0.67 to $14.25 on Wednesday. Savient fell $0.27 (11%) to $2.26. ...