Teva seeks CEO replacement as Schultz plans to retire next year: WSJ

After five years working through a company turnaround, opioid litigation and more, Teva CEO Kåre Schultz plans to move on to other responsibilities late next year.

When his contract runs out in November 2023, Schultz won't renew, he told The Wall Street Journal. The company is actively looking for a replacement, the newspaper reports.

Schultz will turn 62 in May and is planning to retire to spend more time with his family, according to the Journal. He's also anticipating becoming a grandfather when when his eldest daughter gives birth in the next few weeks, according to the report.

Five years in the driver’s seat of a global pharmaceutical company is no walk in the park. Shortly after Schultz took the job, the drugmaker unveiled a massive list of cost cuts, including 14,000 job cuts and plant closures around the globe.

And over the past few years, Teva has been embroiled in opioid litigation. The generics giant is now gearing up to finalize a $4.35 billion national settlement by the end of the year. Schultz “wasn’t aware of how powerful” the legal issues were back when he took the job, he previously said.

During a recent conference in Tel Aviv, the CEO went over the company’s progress since 2017 and its goals for 2027. Back when Teva first revealed the massive opioid settlement, the company noted that it planned to return to growth by 2027.

Back in 2020, shareholders voted to extend Schultz’s tenure by another year to November 2023, giving him a total of six at the helm. They also approved an increase to his long-term equity award from $6 million to $10 million a year, tied to pre-established performance metrics. That’s thanks to his successful navigation of the company’s two-year restructuring plan, which slashed Teva’s spending base by $3 billion. He's also helped to reduce the company’s debt and oversaw the launch of several new products, the proxy said.

Teva did not immediately reply to Fierce Pharma's request for comment.

The company expects to generate $14.8 billion to $15.4 billion in 2022 revenues, which is down from past guidance of $15 billion to $15.6 billion. During the third quarter, Teva raked in $3.95 billion, down 8% from the same period last year.