Teva refutes Landa's "inexperienced board" charges

Erez Vigodman, Benny Landa Photos: Eyal Yizhar

Teva insists that the board of directors has expertise in pharma, finance, and operations.

"The Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (NYSE: TEVA; TASE: TEVA) board of directors is composed of active and involved directors with proven business records and broad and diverse experience in a range of relevant areas, including profound expertise in pharma, finance, and operations," Teva said today in response to activist shareholder Benny Landa's severe criticism of the Teva board in a "Globes" interview.

In the interview, Landa said that Teva couldn't have both a CEO and board of directors with no pharma experience. He said that for this reason, the board was incapable of devising a strategy for the company, and called on several board members to resign and make way for prominent pharma specialists. "All the directors are excellent people with experience in their fields, but they… don't even know what questions to ask… Have they ever been in such situations? Do they understand what the pharma industry is? They didn't know what to do in the past, they don't know what to do now, and they won't know what to do tomorrow," Landa complained. "…they can't devise a strategy for a company like Teva. It's no wonder that the company made such mistakes."

In its response today, Teva stated, "In recent years, Teva has recruited directors with substantial global pharma experience, and has enhanced its board's expertise and experience in this area. The ranks of the board have been significantly reinforced with five new directors with a variety of qualifications since 2015. Most of them have extensive experience and qualifications in global pharma, with a background in business and key positions in leading pharma companies before joining the Teva board.

"We emphasize that the corporate governance and appointments committee is continually assessing the board's composition in order to ensure that it includes directors with the highest level of expertise in a range of the necessary disciplines and fields, and is acting in the best interest of all the shareholders. Ensuring diversity in fields of endeavor, qualifications, and experience among the board members, which is the usual policy at similar global pharma companies, is designed to enable the board of directors to cope with a variety of topics and difficult challenges facing this type of company. The board of directors is fulfilling its function in an extremely professional and thorough manner, and is utilizing its talents, experience, and efforts to promote the company's interests for the sake of the company's good and that of its shareholders."

Speaking yesterday at a JP Morgan conference, Teva CEO Erez Vigodman responded to questions about the company's strategy on innovation. Vigodman noted that Teva was planning to make occasional acquisitions in drug innovation suitable to the company's portfolio, and which would not require substantial investments.

Published by Globes [online], Israel Business News - www.globes-online.com - on January 10, 2017

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2017

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Erez Vigodman, Benny Landa Photos: Eyal Yizhar
Erez Vigodman, Benny Landa Photos: Eyal Yizhar
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