Teva Pharma (TEVA) Names New CEO

Teva Pharmaceutical rocketed Monday after announcing a former Novo Nordisk executive will take the helm

Teva Pharmaceutical rocketed Monday after announcing a former Novo Nordisk executive will take the helm

The world's biggest generic drug maker Monday named Kare Schultz as president and CEO, ending months of speculation about who would replace former head Erez Vigodman, who left the company in February for undisclosed reasons.

Teva's new CEO will face pressure from certain investors to split Teva into two separate businesses, with one focusing on its patented specialty medications and one on low-priced generic drugs.

No start date has been set for Schultz, but he will relocate to Teva's headquarters in Petach Tikva. Schultz will succeed Yitzhak Peterburg, who will continue to serve as Interim CEO until Schultz joins the company.

Mr. Schultz is a seasoned veteran in the healthcare industry with a distinguished, almost thirty year career in global pharmaceutical and healthcare companies. Before that, he spent almost three decades at Novo Nordisk in a slew of roles, including chief operating officer. As a result of his leadership, the company is on track to achieve all-time high revenue and earnings.

Mr. Schultz is a successful industry veteran, having served as the CEO of H. Lundbeck A/S since 2015 - and was Chief Operating Officer of Novo Nordisk before that. "Kåre has deep insight into the global pharmaceutical industry and a keen knowledge of the generic and specialty drug markets". He continued that "it's important to work very fast and create a clear strategy and bring the company on strategic course". "What drew me to Teva, and what makes Teva different from its peers, is its unique commitment to growing an extensive global reach while continuing to provide new and high-quality treatments for patients and an innovative culture for its employees", Schultz said.

Cantor analyst Louise Chen had just said in his last cautiously optimistic research note that "It's not if, it's when we should be buying TEVA shares", advising investors not to "throw away the key yet" on this biotech player.

The Israeli drugmaker's debt is more than US$30 billion - twice the value of the company - and Teva warned investors that it risks breaching its debt covenants this year if it does not reap the expected US$2 billion from the asset sales.

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