New Stada chief knocks down former CEO’s son, fires advisers

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It’s been less than a month since Matthias Wiedenfels took the reins from longtime Stada CEO Hartmut Retzlaff, but he’s already shaking things up at the top.

Wiedenfels has stripped Retzlaff’s son, Steffen, of some of his duties, according to a staff letter seen by Reuters. Steffen Retzlaff will no longer oversee Stada subsidiaries Hemopharm GmbH and Stadavita GmbH, turning his attention solely to his responsibility for the company’s business in Asia and Pacific, Middle East and North Africa.

But that’s not all. Wiedenfels has also let go external advisers who had been acting as “Senior Advisers to the CEO,” the news service notes.

Wiedenfels has been heading the German drugmaker since earlier this month, when the elder Retzlaff vacated the top spot for health reasons after holding the position for 23 years. At the time, Chairman Martin Abend said in a statement that Wiedenfels would stand for “continuity as well as the ability to give the company the continuously necessary new impulses.”

But it’s likely Abend’s definition of “necessary” doesn’t match that of rebel investor Active Ownership Capital, which is looking to replace 5 directors--including him. After the two sides nearly reached a compromise in May--which would have seen Active Ownership replace just three board members with its own candidates--Stada announced instead that it would be selecting new picks on its own.

- get more from Reuters

Special Report: Top 20 generics companies by 2014 revenue - Stada Arzneimittel

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