Teva Pharmaceutical Industries has named Dane Kaare Schultz, from Lundbeck A/S as its new CEO. This ends the company’s search of seven months for its new leader who will be tasked with reviving sales and lowering debt at the largest generic drugs maker in the world.
Schultz, who is 56, will relocate to Israel and work at the Petach Tikva headquarters of Teva, said the company through an official statement on Monday.
No time frame was released as to when Schultz would begin his CEO duties, but he replaces Yitzhak Peterburg, the current acting CEO since the February 6 departure of Erez Vigodman by a mutual agreement between him and the board.
Teva’s new CEO will face pressure from certain investors to split Teva into two separate businesses, with one focusing on its patented specialty medications and one on inexpensive generic drugs.
Vigodman left Teva after shares of the pharmaceutical plummeted to lows of 12 years amidst legal problems related to the best-selling patented drug of the company and pressure on the prices of its generics.
The situation at Teva worsened since his departure, as the pharmaceutical company lowered its guidance for profit and cut its dividend.
Upon the news on Monday, shares of the company were up over 7.8% in trading in Tel Aviv after climbing earlier by their most in the last 10 months.
Teva ended the trading week last Friday with a $15.7 billion market value after its stock has dropped by 57% in 2017.
Schultz in his first interview since being announced as the next CEO at Teva said he was the type of person who likes to face challenges and is inspired by them. He added that it was important to work fast, and make a clear and distinct strategy to bring the company back onto a strategic course.
Lundbeck also lost its CCO Monday and its shares plummeted 13% on the news, the most in close to one year. The stock during Schultz’s tenure as the CEO generated returns of close to threefold.
Schultz will be the fourth new CEO at Teva in less than six years due to the woes of the company over that period, and the board knew that finding the best qualified might mean abandoning certain unspoken principles as he will be the first non-Jewish person to lead the company since it was founded 116 years ago.