Teva chairman: I disagreed with Levin

Phillip Frost has attributed CEO Jeremy Levin's departure to differences of opinion over implementation of Teva's new strategy.

"Since Levin's arrival, the board of directors and management saw eye-to-eye in drawing up the strategic plan," said Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (NYSE: TEVA; TASE: TEVA) chairman Phillip Frost in a conference call, following the announcement this morning that president and CEO Jeremy Levin is stepping down.

"However, differences of opinion emerged between us over implementation of the strategy. In the past few weeks, we spoke with Levin and we have decided that it would be better to part ways. In the past 18 months, Teva has demonstrated impressive progress. Teva is stronger today than ever before, with extraordinary opportunities ahead of it. Teva has an exceptional management team, which has already chalked up achievements."

Teva acting CEO Eyal Desheh said that he would continue implementation of the strategic plan, and reaffirmed the company's full-year earnings per share guidance of $4.95-5.05."

Asked by an analyst if Teva would continue as planned on its strategic plan, Frost said, "Yes."

Asked why he did not take the helm, Frost said that Teva needed a younger man.

Levin assumed his post at Teva in May 2012, succeeding Shlomo Yanai, who was appointed by then-chairman, the late Eli Hurvitz. When Hurvitz resigned, Frost, he was succeeded by Frost, who was then vice chairman, and subsequently appointed Levin as CEO. 18 months ago, Teva's board of directors split over the question of its chairman, and the names of scions of the company's founding fathers, Chaim Hurvitz and Amir Elstein, were mentioned as candidates to succeed Frost. In the end Frost (76) was reelected to another three-year term.

Teva's share price fell 7.1% in premarket trading on the New York Stock Exchange in response to Levin's resignation, and is down 6.4% by mid-afternoon on the TASE.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on October 30, 2013

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2013

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