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Israel's Teva Pharmaceutical Industries names Erez Vigodman as CEO

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January 9
4:47 AM 2014

Petach Tikva, Israel-based Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd selected Erez Vigodman to become lead the largest generic drugmaker in the world, Bloomberg reported. Citing a statement issued by the firm today, the report said Vigodman, who is also a board member of the company, will become its President and Chief Executive Officer on February 11.

Vigodman replaces former CEO Jeremy Levin who left the firm in October over a row with the board on how to execute a plan to restructure the company as its patents expire on its best-selling product. In the past four years, Vigodman was responsible for turning around Makhteshim-Agan Industries, a generic agrochemicals manufacturer.

Vigodman, who had bolstered the growth of two of the largest businesses in Israel, will now have a chance to rescue the largest company in Israel that has suffered from a shares slump and investors speculating a potential break up. Unlike his predecessor who has a veteran in the pharmaceutical industry, Vigodman will have to prove to investors that he is the right man for the job inasmuch as some are skeptical of his lack of industry experience.

In a statement, Chairman Phillip Frost said, "As a member of the Teva board since 2009, Erez has a deep understanding of the company and the industry in which it operates, putting him in a strong position to hit the ground running and deliver value for shareholders."

Vigodman will manage the reduction of an estimated 10% of Teva's employees as the company seeks to increase earnings when Copaxone, its treatment for multiple sclerosis, faces potential generic competition in 2014. Analysts said Copaxone comprises at least 50% of Teva's profits. Analysts are also predicting that Copaxone sales will go down as patients move towards newer oral drugs like Tecfidera of Biogen Idec Inc, the report said.

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