Teva is already in search of a new CEO and CFO to help it remake the company. Now it’s adding four new faces to its boardroom, too.
The Israeli drugmaker is “evolving the board to meet new challenges both within Teva” and within the generics industry, company chairman Sol Barer told The Wall Street Journal. Teva will ask shareholders to approve the nominees at the company’s June 13 annual meeting, he said.
The newcomers will bring more pharma experience to Teva’s board, a quality that investors—activist Benny Landa, in particular—have long been clamoring for. Teva has put forth former Regeneron CFO Murray Goldberg; former GlaxoSmithKline R&D official Perry Nissen; Roberto Mignone, a managing partner at healthcare-specializing hedge fund Bridger Management; and Chemi Peres, a managing partner of Pitango Venture Capital, which has invested in healthcare.
They’re slated to take the places of Ari Belldegrun, who departed the board in January; Roger Abravanel, who will resign as of the July meeting; Ory Slonim, who is not standing for re-election; and Joseph Nitzani, who will stay on until his term wraps in September.
It’s been a few years since Teva’s last boardroom facelift. Back in 2014, the company added Pfizer vet Jean-Michel Halfon after pledging a smaller, more experienced group of directors. Later that year, then-chairman Phillip Frost announced that he’d be one of the boardmembers to depart.
But those moves weren’t enough for Landa and others, who have been vocal in their desire for a CEO with “a strong background in global pharma” as Teva struggles with M&A missteps and generics-industry pressures.
Luckily, Barer, who founded Celgene, shares those aims, and he’s promised that a seasoned industry exec is just what Teva’s in for.
Teva wants “someone with deep and broad pharmaceutical experience that can lead Teva and take this to the next level as a company,” Barer said on the company’s fourth-quarter earnings call, adding that “I am personally involved, I am personally leading this, and I am committed to bringing the absolute best person from anywhere.”
Earlier this week, interim chief exec Yitzhak Peterburg took that one step further, telling a crowd of investors at the Jefferies Global Healthcare Conference in New York that Teva is hoping to poach its new leader from a rival pharma.
The ideal candidate “will have the ability to maybe do the restructurings needed, being able to deal with change and with the disruptions that we think are within our industry,” he said.