'Boring is good,' Teva CEO Schultz says amid push to hit targets, remove risk

Kåre Schultz
Teva CEO Kåre Schultz has tried to instill a culture of delivering on promises at the drugmaker. (News Oresund/CC BY 2.0)

Teva’s CEO Kåre Schultz had his hands full when he joined the company back in 2017, and while the drugmaker still faces significant challenges, he's seeing results of organization and disciplined management. And that's reason for optimism, as far as he's concerned.

In a new interview with Israel’s Calcalist, the CEO said that he’s tried to instill a culture of delivering on promises at Teva. He's also tried to remove risk from the drugmaker's overall strategy. 

“Boring is good,” he told the publication, adding that it’s “good to be well organized and reach your targets, and don’t do anything unexpected.” 

RELATED: Teva CEO Kåre Schultz nabs whopping $33M in first full year at the helm 

Since joining the drugmaker, Schultz has moved to Tel Aviv and made a concerted effort to bring more managers to the company’s headquarters in Petah Tikva, Israel, he said in the interview. As the drugmaker has stabilized, Schultz said, there’s less of a fear within the company that things will go “completely wrong." Instead, there’s more of a “calm” atmosphere. 

Before joining the drugmaker, Schultz said he believed Teva had a “high-risk” strategy but good employees. Since then, the management team has “taken the risk out of the strategy, making it more sustainable, making it more structured." In his two years on the job, he's taken Teva through a massive cost-cutting push aimed at cutting $3 billion in annual costs.

In that downsizing, the company has laid off 13,000 employees, closed 13 manufacturing sites and 40 offices or labs. It’s planning to close or sell 10 more manufacturing plants.

Teva still faces challenges, including generic struggles in the U.S. and opioid litigation. The company has made a multibillion-dollar settlement offer to resolve the opioid lawsuits, but the deal has not been finalized. 

RELATED: Teva's global cutback spree is done. Now it's aiming to grow with Ajovy, Austedo 

Looking forward, the company isn’t looking at acquisitions and is instead focused on paying down its debt, the CEO added.