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It's Hammertime for Wharton business-technology event

The '90s rapper will be talking social media at a conference in Philadelphia Feb. 26.

I love a good discussion of cloud computing and customer relationship management software as much as anybody, but a daylong conference at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown noodling over such matters would test my attention span.

So it's a good thing that organizers of the 2010 Wharton Business Technology Conference on Feb. 26 have added '90s rap icon MC Hammer.

That's right, the baggy- pants entertainer behind "U Can't Touch This" will be talking social media on a panel that also includes Chip Rodgers, a local SAP executive who oversees the German software company's Web. 2.0 communities.

Hammer also will hold court for an hour at 9 a.m. with a keynote address. He's done it before, with speeches at a 2008 Intel Capital CEO event and a 2009 social media gathering at the Harvard Faculty Club.

Of course, Hammer also made and lost a fortune, having filed for bankruptcy in 1996. Maybe the fact that he's sought-after for his ideas on social media is an indication that he really is "Too Legit To Quit." An Associated Press profile of him from 2008 said he'd been hanging out at Silicon Valley companies in the '90s, learning about technology that might help his music career.

With some venture-capital backing, Hammer cofounded in September 2007. It's a social media site that's been striving to be the YouTube of dance videos. (In January, creative control of was shifted to DJ Skee and his production company,

Hammer may not be filling arenas these days, but with an iPhone application, 1.8 million followers on Twitter, and a reality TV show on A&E network last summer, he's made sure that "Hammertime" can be any time.

Merck Move

Merck & Co. Inc. has hired a Johnson & Johnson executive to run its consumer health-care business.

Bridgette P. Heller will succeed Stanley F. Barshay, a former Schering-Plough Corp. executive who'd postponed his retirement as Merck digested its $41 billion purchase of Schering-Plough.

Heller, 48, had been president of J&J's Baby Global Business Unit since 2007. She will be one of 13 members of Merck's executive committee.