Teva CEO Steps Down Suddenly

The departure comes after a series of missteps from the pharmaceutical giant. Investors are calling for order.

A Teva Center in Canada. Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

A Teva Center in Canada. Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

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 chairman Yitzhak Peterburg has replaced Vigodman as interim CEO and now the world’s largest generic drug-maker is facing mounting pressure to turn its performance around.

The list of recent bad news for the company is long. When Teva lost patent protection on its flagship brand drug Copaxone last week, potentially opening the company up to generic competition, investors called for the company to make structural changes in management.

Before that, Teva disappointed investors when it reported a low revenue forecast at the beginning of the year and the company’s costly acquisition of Actavis Generics last year still has investors wary. The company is also being sued by 20 states including Pennsylvania over its alleged price fixing of generic products.

This will be the company’s third CEO departure this decade, Bloomberg reports.

“I believe that now is the right time for me to step down,” Vigodman said in a statement. “It has been a privilege to lead Teva, and I am proud of all we have accomplished. I am confident that the company’s future is bright.”

Teva has launched a search for its new CEO, and moving forward, Peterburg has said he’ll conduct a deep review of the business in the meantime. “The company is focusing on executing opportunities to enhance value for shareholders,” Peterburg said in a statement.

As Trump has pledged to crack down on drug prices, Reuters points out, and as Teva faces generic competition, onlookers have suggested that the company’s best bet would be a spinoff of its branded drugs businesses.

Teva is Israel’s biggest company, with U.S. headquarters in North Wales, Montgomery County. The company is slated to report its fourth-quarter 2016 earnings early next week.

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