Amgen Inc. has appointed David Piacquad to the new position of senior vice president for business development, the company announced Wednesday.

The Thousand Oaks drug giant said Piacquad will lead a new organization combining the previously separate corporate development and external R&D groups.

Piacquad joined Amgen in June 2010 as vice president of strategy and corporate development. He previously held executive positions at Schering-Plough Corp. and Johnson & Johnson.

Walt Disney Co. Chief Executive Robert Iger is expected to name a successor in coming weeks to Anne Sweeney, who is stepping down as co-chairwoman of Disney Media Networks and president of the Disney/ABC Television Group.

Sweeney will leave the Burbank entertainment and media company in January to go into production, but a replacement is expected to be named this spring prior to ABC setting its fall schedule, according to media reports. Sweeney is one of highest ranking female executives in Hollywood.

Names floated as a possible successor to Sweeney include ABC News chief Ben Sherwood; Nancy Dubuc, the chief executive of A&E Networks; Gail Berman, the former Fox entertainment chief and Paramount Pictures president, and Dana Walden, chairman of 20th Century Fox TV.

PizzaRev plans to open seven franchises in St. Louis, Mo. and Austin, Texas over the next two years, the Westlake Village fast casual pizza chain announced.

The four restaurants in Austin and three in St. Louis are being developed by David Jones and Doug Tieber, owners of 17 Buffalo Wild Wings franchises. PizzaRev received an equity investment last year from Buffalo Wild Wings Inc., the Minneapolis owner of the popular sports bar chain.

Other PizzaRev franchise locations are already under development in Salt Lake City; Minneapolis; Orange County; San Diego; Lincoln, Neb.; Fargo, N.D.; and Sioux Falls, S.D. The company also plans at least 10 corporate stores in California to add to the eight restaurants now open in the greater Los Angeles region.

PizzaRev is one of several local companies seeking to rapidly expand in the new restaurant category of fast casual pizza, which features a food-assembly operation similar to a Chipotle Mexican Grill and high-temperature fast-cook ovens.

The part-time MBA program at Cal State Northridge has moved up 32 spots in the latest U.S. News & World Report’s list of similar programs.

The university’s offering now ranks No. 114 on the “Best Part-Time MBA Programs” list published this week. The only other school within the California State University system to rank higher is San Diego State with a placement of 101.

The state also produced the number one school on the list with University of California, Berkeley’s Haas School taking the top spot.

Cal State Northridge’s MBA program was founded in 1958 and offers degrees in taxation and accounting, as well as a standard MBA. The program graduated a total of 60 students in 2013.