The UK’s Shire has unveiled a new look to its senior management team which will see chief financial officer Angus Russell take over from Matthew Emmens as chief executive in June next year.

Mr Emmens, who has been CEO since 2003, will then become the group’s non-executive chairman, replacing James Cavanaugh who is retiring. Mr Russell has been Shire’s CFO for eight years and has 27 years experience in the pharmaceutical industry, notably at AstraZeneca. The company said it will now work to identify a replacement CFO “in order to ensure an orderly succession”.

The changes are unlikely to result in a major shift in philosophy at the firm. Mr Emmens claimed that Shire has “a clear strategy, a differentiated pharmaceutical business model and is well positioned to take advantage of the many opportunities in its markets”.

Mr Emmens added that the success of this strategy is “demonstrated by a strong performance, reflected in our recently announced upgraded guidance for revenue growth for 2007”. The Basingstoke-headquartered firm said in November that full-year turnover is expected to grow at least 30%, compared with an earlier estimate of 25% growth.