Just a week after Teva lost a major patent infringement battle in court, the pharmaceutical company announced on Monday that its president and CEO Erez Vigodman has stepped down. Teva, which saw its shares slip on the ruling, intends to appeal to the decision.
The company said it hired a search firm to help identify candidates as it looks for a permanent CEO. "I am confident that the company's future is bright".
Teva shares, which hit $72 in July 2015, tumbled to a 10-year low of $32.20 last week on the New York Stock Exchange after a USA court found patents invalid on Teva's most important branded product, multiple sclerosis treatment Copaxone.
The shares fell more than 2 percent in extended trading after Vigodman's departure, which comes after the head of its generics drugs division, Siggi Olafsson, left the company. The introduction of two Copaxone generic versions in the US could cut as much as $1.2 billion in revenue in 2017, Teva estimated last month. Vigodman came on as CEO of Teva during what was arguably the most trying period in the company's history, and spent much of his time in a failed full-on battle to protect the generic drug company's patent on multiple sclerosis treatment, Copaxone, alone responsible for a fifth of the company's revenues in 2016. He says the management changes will allow the company to make a "fresh start" and that recent events may be "well received" after a hard 18 months. Over the past year, the company's share price has been down by some 40 percent.
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Investors and analysts are concerned that the company, in which nearly every household in Israel has a stake through pensions and savings plans, is zigzagging ineffectively in its efforts to find an alternative to its blockbuster proprietary multiple sclerosis drug Copaxone, which is being threatened by competition as its patents expire.
The most important task for the new CEO, Alper said, would be to ensure that the melding of the activities of Actavis with Teva "is done as well as possible".
Prior to rejoining Teva's board of directors in 2012, Peterburg led the company's research and development efforts as head of global branded products, from 2010 until October 2011. In accordance with the Israeli law, Peterburg relinquished his chairman role to serve as interim CEO. Previously, he served as president and CEO of cellular provider Cellcom Israel Ltd. The board tapped Dr. Sol J. Barer, a Teva board member since January 2015, as the new chairman.