Triangle pharmaceutical and venture capital executive Robert Ingram is taking over as the chairman at Elan (NYSE: ELN).

The Ireland-based pharmaceutical firm said Monday that Ingram, who worked at both Glaxo Wellcome and GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE: GSK), will join its board immediately.

Ingram takes over as chairman effective Jan. 26.

According to Reuters, the move with Ingram is “designed to ease shareholder concerns of a lack of expertise at the drug maker.” Reuters note that two life science executives quite the Elan board earlier this year in a dispute regarding corporate governance and transparency.

Ingram currently is general partner at Triangle-based Hatteras Venture Partners, a venture capital firm focused on life science investments.

Ingram also has worked for the past year as an advisor to GSK Chief Executive Officer Andrew Witty. From January 2003 through December 2009 he was vice chairman of pharmaceuticals at GSK. He also was chief operating officer at GSK from 2001 to 2003. He served as Glaxo Wellcome’s CEO from 1997 to 2000.

Ingram also is active on several corporate boards, including Allergan, Durham-based Cree, Edwards Lifesciences Corporation, Lowe’s Companies and Valeant Pharmaceuticals.

At Elan, Ingram replaces Kyran McLaughlin who disclosed plans to leave as non-executive chairman in April once a successor was found. Ingram was CEO at Glaxo Wellcome and then served as vice chairman of pharmaceuticals after Glaxo Wellcome merged with SmithKline Beecham to become GSK.

“Elan is a company with tremendous science, talent and potential to have a positive impact on millions of patient lives and their families,” Ingram said in a statement.

“I am impressed with the progress the company has made over the past several years in advancing the science, improving its financial performance, and constructing unique and far reaching collaborations which will enable the company to continue to invest in science and innovate within the world of novel therapeutic advances,” he added. “I look forward to working with the Board and the management team to deliver long term benefits to science, patients and shareholders.”

For the full announcement, read here.

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