About a couple of months after the departure of its President
and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Dr. Jeremy Levin,
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.
) announced the selection of Erez Vigodman as the new President
Vigodman will take over the helm from acting President and CEO
Eyal Desheh on Feb 11. Desheh will resume his previous duties as
Group EVP and Chief Financial Officer.
Vigodman has been on Teva's board since 2009 and his
understanding of the company should prove beneficial. Although he
does not come from a pharma background like his predecessor Dr.
Levin, he has a track record where transforming global and
complex operations is concerned. He is known for his strategic
planning and has been successful in turning around the
performance of companies.
At present, Vigodman is the President and CEO of Makhteshim
Agan Industries (MAI), a generic agrochemical company. Vigodman
is credited with returning MAI to profitability by bringing about
improvements in day-to-day operations and investing in areas that
would boost organic growth.
Vigodman has his work cut out for him at Teva. Teva is going
through a challenging period - headwinds include EU pricing
pressure, potential new competition for branded products and
fewer generic product launches compared to 2012. A major
challenge for the company will be for Teva to replace Copaxone
(multiple sclerosis) revenues once generics enter the market.
With the U.S. Federal Court of Appeals delivering unfavorable
rulings regarding the validity of certain Copaxone patents,
generic competition could materialize in May 2014, much sooner
than expected. Additional competition has entered the multiple
sclerosis market in the form of
) Tecfidera which is off to a strong start.
We expect the new CEO to focus on cost reduction and
streamlining of operations. Teva currently carries a Zacks Rank
#5 (Strong Sell). Other better-ranked stocks include
Impax Laboratories Inc.
). While Impax is a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) stock, Actavis is
a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stock.
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