Jackie Fouse is “retiring” from the president’s job at Celgene. Really?

A year after Mark Alles emerged as the CEO of Celgene, taking over from Bob Hugin, and Jackie Fouse wound up one rung down the corporate ladder with the president/COO’s job, Fouse has scheduled her departure from the company.

Celgene announced that she’s leaving the company — or “retiring” in the parlance used when top executives leave big companies. According to the rumor mill, the immensely capable Fouse had lost out on the top job to Alles.

Fouse will stay on as president/COO through Q1 and then hand over the title to Scott Smith, who’s been in charge of building Celgene’s inflammation and immunology pipeline. Then she’ll do another quarter as a company adviser.

Terrie Curran, a 4-year veteran, will take over the I&I franchise.

Celgene shares $CELG dropped 1.2% in after-market trading today.

These moves continue a thorough revamp of the executive crew in the wake of Hugin’s move to executive chairman. The changeover included promoting Rupert Vessey as head of research and early development after Tom Daniel stepped down.

Daniel now has his fingers in a number of biotech pots, and recently grabbed the executive chairman’s role at a startup in San Diego called Vividion.

The big question that’s being left unanswered for now is what Fouse plans to do next. These “retirements” almost always presage a career shift, often into biotech.

With her CV, there would be plenty to choose from. Unless, of course, she does plan to retire.

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Research Scientist - Immunology
Recursion Pharmaceuticals Salt Lake City, UT
Director of Operations
Atlas Venture Cambridge, MA

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