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Lilly CEO returns after May aorta surgery

Monday - 7/8/2013, 10:11am  ET

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Eli Lilly Chairman and CEO John Lechleiter is back to full-time work after taking a leave in May to have surgery for a dilated aorta.

The Indianapolis drugmaker says both a company doctor and Lechleiter's personal physician have cleared the 59-year-old to return.

Lechleiter had the surgery May 13. Chief Financial Officer Derica Rice served as acting CEO, and independent director Ellen Marram served as acting chairwoman.

Lechleiter was expected to make a full recovery from the surgery. The aorta is the largest blood vessel in the body, and Lechleiter's condition was discovered during unrelated testing. The executive had not experienced any symptoms.

Eli Lilly and Co. makes the antidepressant Cymbalta as well as several treatments for diabetes and forms of cancer.

Shares of Eli Lilly rose 29 cents to $50.87 in premarket trading Monday.

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