Seven months after Erez Vigodman stepped down, Teva Pharmaceuticals has appointed a new CEO—Kare Schultz.
Schultz, who has served as CEO of Danish pharmaceutical company H. Lundbeck A/S since May 2015, will be tasked with reviving sales and reducing debt for the world’s largest generics manufacturer. According to Bloomberg, Schultz will likely face pressure to split the company—with one focusing on “patented specialty medicines and the other on cheap copy cat drugs.”
The pharmaceutical company has had a rocky few years. With increased competition from cheaper copycats and costly acquisitions that quickly soured, Teva has been left with more debt than its market value as recently as last month.
In August, stocks reached a nearly two decade low, and Teva announced that it would be retreating from 45 markets and slashing as many as 7,000 jobs by the end of the year. Shareholder confidence dropped in kind, and shares fell by 50% since August.
The news of Schultz’s appointment apparently breathed new confidence into investors, however, and Teva’s Tel Aviv-listed shares rose by 13% today. Meanwhile, Reuters reports that Lundbeck’s shares fell by more than 12% as investors heard the news of Schultz’s departure, as well as the departure of Staffan Schueberg, the company’s chief commercial officer.
In response to his appointment, Schultz told Bloomberg Television that he’s “the kind of person who likes challenge and [is] inspired by challenges.” He continued that “it’s important to work very fast and create a clear strategy and bring the company on strategic course.”
No start date has been set for Schultz, but he will relocate to Teva’s headquarters in Petach Tikva.