Paul Covington, M.D., who serves as executive vice president and chief medical officer for PPD, Inc. (Nasdaq: PPDI) will retire as of June 30. He plans to continue as a special project advisor to the company through January 2009.

Covington joined PPD in 1991 as medical director. He also worked as senior vice president of medical and regulatory affairs, and as chief safety officer prior to assuming his current post in 2002.

“Paul is one of the most talented physicians in our industry, and his leadership and unwavering commitment to excellence have played a significant role in the continued growth and success of our company,” said Fred Eshelman, chief executive officer. “I am grateful for Paul’s many contributions and tireless efforts during his 17-year tenure with PPD. On behalf of our board of directors and all of our employees, I wish him well in his retirement and immense satisfaction in his pursuit of personal interests outside of our industry.”

Although the company hopes to name a replacement by mid-2008, a consulting arrangement is likely to be established with Covington upon his full retirement. In his current role, Covington has global responsibility for regulatory affairs, pharmacovigilance, medical communications, laboratory and Phase I services for the contract research organization.