People news: Optimer Therapeutics and Johnson & Johnson

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Michael Chang, chairman of the board at Optimer Therapeutics and Optimer Biotechnology, was removed due to compliance/conflict of interest issues, Optimer said. The firm's VP of clinical development and CFO were also terminated, the firm said. Kurt Hartman, currently general counsel & chief compliance officer at Optimer, has been appointed acting CFO, and Hank McKinnell, former CEO of Pfizer, has replaced Chang as chairman of Optimer's board, effective immediately. In a statement, Optimer said the changes were related to "certain lapses in corporate governance practices" and to Optimer's relationship with Optimer Biotechnology, its 43%-owned independent, Taiwanese-based affiliate. The company added that it doesn't expect a material impact on revenues, operations, or on the commercialization and launch of antibiotic Dificid.

Sheri McCoy, vice chairman of the executive committee at Johnson & Johnson, resigned from the company effective April 18, J&J said. McCoy, who joined J&J in 1982 and was appointed to lead the pharmaceuticals and consumer groups in January 2011, will join Avon Products as CEO. She had lost out to incoming CEO Alex Gorsky in a race for the top job at the diversified products firm.

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