Yet more shifts at the top of the pharma tree recently, with pharma giant Pfizer announcing the retirement of vice chairman David Shedlarz at the end of a 31 year reign. While the news was somewhat overshadowed by media reports publicising Shedlarz' alleged $43m retirement package, the former Pfizer financial whiz will be leaving the company at the end of the year after holding a number of senior positions at the firm. Shedlarz joined Pfizer in 1976 and held a series of positions of increasing responsibility over his career, including CFO, senior vice president, executive vice president and eventually became vice chairman of the company in 2005. Biopharma firm Savient Pharmaceuticals this week announced a new VP of manufacturing, with Peter Clarke taking on the newly created role. Clarke joins the company from his previous position as vice president of production and technical processes at Introgen, and also spent four years as Bayer Biologicals' director of manufacturing. Clarke previously held positions at Medeva, Chiron and Delta Biotechnology among others. Teva Pharmaceuticals' CFO Dan Suesskind is due to retire in mid-2008 according to an announcement by the Israeli company this week. Suesskind, who has been Teva's CFO since 1977, will be replaced by the current CFO of Check Point Software Technologies, Eyal Desheh. Desheh will be returning to Teva after a 12 year absence, having previously served as deputy CFO from 1989 to 1995. NPS Pharmaceuticals has named Douglas Dobak as the firm's new vice president of regulatory affairs and drug safety. Dobak joins the company from AstraZeneca, where he held a number of senior regulatory positions, most recently as executive director of US regulatory affairs. He has previously worked with a number of large pharma firms including Pfizer, Bristol-Myers Squibb and SmithKline Beecham. US firm MicroCHIPS has hired a new vice president of R&D to focus on the company's drug delivery and diabetes product programmes. Robert Farra has joined the company to take on the role, charged with taking MicroCHIPS' implantable biosensing and drug delivery devices through preclinical and clinical development. Alongside Farra the company has also taken on two diabetes experts, in the form of Kerstin Rebrin (formerly of Abbott Diabetes Care) and Yanan Zhang (formerly of Medtronic Diabetes).