Erez Vigodman leading candidate for Teva CEO

The announcement will be made next month and the appointment of the Makhteshim Agan CEO would strengthen Teva's connection to Israel.

Erez Vigodman is the leading candidate in the race to become Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (NYSE: TEVA; TASE: TEVA) CEO, sources inform "Globes." The company's board of directors led by incoming deputy chairman Amir Elstein is still officially vetting several other candidates but is inclined to choose Vigodman, currently CEO of chemicals manufacturer Makhteshim Agan Industries Ltd. An official announcement about the new Teva CEO is expected in January.

Vigodman was already tipped to be the next Teva CEO immediately after the departure of Dr. Jeremy Levin at the end of October. Levin left after less than two years, after differences of opinion with the board of directors led by chairman Dr. Phillip Frost.

Vigodman is seen as a strategist and excellent operations man, with a deep business understanding, who has led many successful measures at Makhteshim Agan. Although this was not the area of activities in which he previously worked, he is seen as a person who learns quickly and is suitable to execute Teva's streamlining plan, which includes extensive layoffs. Vigodman presumably has the support of the "Israel group" on the board, and his appointment would strengthen the international pharmaceutical company's connection to Israel.

Vigodman knows Teva well, having sat on the board for many years, and he saw the late chairman and CEO Eli Hurvitz as a role model.

Vigodman has also served as CEO of Strauss Group Ltd. (TASE:STRS). Some foreign investors may be dissatisfied with the similarity to Levin's predecessor Shlomo Yanai, who was also CEO of Makhteshim before taking up the Teva post.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on December 24, 2013

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

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