Teva CEO steps down over downsizing execution

October 30, 2013

Teva President and CEO Dr. Jeremy Levin resigned Oct. 30, just 20 days after the company announced an accelerated restructuring program that will result in 5,000 job losses worldwide.

Teva President and CEO Dr. Jeremy Levin resigned Oct. 30, effective immediately, just 20 days after the company announced an accelerated restructuring program that will result in 5,000 job losses worldwide, with the majority occurring by the end of next year.

On Oct. 10, Teva announced cost savings of $2.0 billion by the end of 2017, with half of the cost savings to occur by 2014. It plans to reduce its global workforce by 10% in 2014. It also announced its plan to invest in research and development and sales and marketing for areas with high potential. These include high-value complex generics, specialty drugs, and OTC products.

In a conference call on Wednesday, Dr. Phillip Frost, Teva’s chairman of the board, said that its cost reduction program is its No. 1 priority and that Teva’s executive vice president and chief financial officer will serve as interim president and CEO as the search begins for Dr. Levin’s replacement.

Dr. Frost said that Dr. Levin’s departure was due to differences over the execution of Teva’s strategy, not to the strategy itself.  The board is active and interested in finding a successor, he said, emphasizing that he himself is not interested in the position. He suggested that the candidate be a younger person who wants to reside in Israel and carry out the company’s strategy.

“Management and the board have one vision for Teva - to deliver sustainable growth and consistent shareholder value. Teva’s leadership team possesses the skills necessary to execute the company’s strategy,” said Dr. Frost.

“Teva continues to identify opportunities to enhance value through the selective trimming of assets that no longer fit its core business or are not critical to its future,” he said.

Teva will continue its development of specialty medicines in the following therapeutic areas: CNS, respiratory, and oncology. It will continue to develop its OTC business with its partner Procter & Gamble.

Third quarter earning results will be released Oct. 31 as planned, the company said.