Teva Pharmaceutical Names Board Member to Be New CEO

Following the departure of then-Teva Pharmaceutical (NYSE: TEVA  ) CEO Jeremy Levin on Oct. 30, 2013, then-CFO Eyal Desheh was promoted to acting president and CEO until a successor could be found. Today, Teva announced that current board member Erez Vigodman would assume the president and CEO role on a permanent basis beginning Feb. 11.

Desheh will return to his prior position as group executive vice president and CFO, Teva said.

Vigodman, 54, is currently CEO of agrochemical provider Makhteshim Agan Industries (MAI), a position he's held since January 2010. According to Teva's press release, Vigodman intends to step down as CEO of MAI on Feb. 6.

In its statement, Teva Chairman of the Board Phillip Frost commented: "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."

Israel-based Teva hopes to bring some stability to the leadership position with the hiring of Vigodman, following what some industry pundits considered to be a tumultuous time while Levin was CEO. Disagreements on implementing an agreed-upon restructuring initiative was the impetus, according to analysts and pharma insiders, for Levin's departure from Teva last October.

Teva has long been a source of pride in Israel, and the company noted that its next CEO is Israeli. But the drugmaker's image has been tarnished by plans for mass layoffs, including hundreds of jobs in Israel, where the company has enjoyed years of tax breaks and other incentives.

The layoffs are part of a restructuring aimed at slimming Teva's business and making it more efficient.

-- Material from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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