Cipla Medpro suspends CEO, but won't explain why

South Africa's Cipla Medpro suspended its founder and CEO, Jerome Smith. The company, South Africa's third-largest drugmaker, is conducting an internal investigation.

And that's all we know. The company says "serious allegations" are to blame for Smith's suspension. But it hasn't said what, exactly, those allegations are. As investors sold off their shares, the company tried to quell their fears, saying that large-scale financial chicanery wasn't involved.

"[F]rom a monetary value, if you look at the company, it is not material," Cipla Medpro Chairman Sbu Luthuli said during the company's earnings presentation (as quoted by Reuters). "I want you to be at ease. You are not going to think that suddenly there is 100 million rand ($12 million) missing from the company."

The company appointed one of its non-executive directors, Johan du Preez, as acting CEO, pending the investigation. Luthuli also assured investors that the probe wouldn't interfere with his company's supply deal with Indian generics giant Cipla.

- read the Reuters news

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