Teva overhauls its board again, and almost all its old-timers are gone

Teva
Teva's board will shrink from 13 members to 11. (Teva)

Looks like another scale-down is coming to Teva’s board.

The Israeli drugmaker’s slate of directors, which has changed extensively in recent years at activist investor urging, will shrink by two spots after the company’s annual meeting in June, according to a regulatory filing.

Galia Maor, Gabrielle Sulzberger and Dan Suesskind have decided not to stand for reelection, the generics giant said. Tel Aviv University professor Ronit Satchi-Fainaro, who leads the university’s Cancer Research and Nanomedicine Laboratory, is Teva’s only new nominee, which means the board will contract to 11 members from its current 13.

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“We sincerely thank them for their contribution, leadership and critical efforts on behalf of Teva throughout their respective terms of service. The Board will miss their insight and perspective in its deliberations and hope they will remain close to Teva for years to come,” a spokeswoman said of Maor, Sulzberger and Suesskind in an emailed statement.

Teva’s board has all but turned over within the last few years. Other than Maor, who is on her way out, there’s only one director left in the boardroom who was around before activist investor Benny Landa rallied in 2014 for a smaller board with more experience in global pharma. That’s Amir Elstein, who at one time looked primed to succeed departed chairman Phillip Frost—that is, before Landa decried the potential pick.

RELATED: Teva rebel investor Landa's gearing up for a proxy fight—and he can win, he says

After Elstein, Teva’s longest-tenured director is Jean-Michel Halfon, a Pfizer veteran Frost brought in circa 2014 in response to Landa’s campaign.

“We continue to evaluate the size and composition of our board of directors to ensure it maintains dynamic, exceptionally qualified members and that the mix of talent and experience on the board reflects all the challenges that the company faces,” Teva told Reuters in a statement.

RELATED: Teva overhauling boardroom as top-level revamp continues

Last year also saw a slew of board arrivals and departures as part of an exodus of Teva’s old guard. Under the watch of Celgene veteran and chairman Sol Barer, Teva added former Regeneron CFO Murray Goldberg; former GlaxoSmithKline R&D official Perry Nisen; 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.

The newbie on the roster? Kåre Schultz, the company’s CEO, who joined the company last fall and has since ensured that Teva’s board isn’t the only part of the company seeing major change. To pare down a crushing debt-load, he initiated 14,000 layoffs last year, a move that sparked labor protests around Teva’s home country but earned praise from analysts.

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