Teva Pharm plans to reduce size of its board, add experts

TEL AVIV Thu Jan 23, 2014 2:40am EST

TEL AVIV Jan 23 (Reuters) - The board of directors of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries plans to reduce the size of the board and add new members with global healthcare experience, the company's chairman said in a letter to shareholders.

Teva, the world's largest generic drugmaker, earlier this month named turnaround specialist and board member Erez Vigodman as chief executive.

Chairman Phillip Frost said Vigodman will continue as a member of Teva's board, which he said was "an important initial step in our evolving governance structure".

Many shareholders and analysts had said it was vital that Teva's new CEO also be a member of the board.

"We have also undertaken a broader review of Teva's governance, including, among other things, the size and composition of the board," Frost said in a letter dated Jan. 22, which was published on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange website on Thursday.

Frost, Teva's largest shareholder, said the board was in the process of identifying appropriate candidates to add to the board.

"Corporate governance is a priority of this board, as we know it is for our shareholders," he said. "The constructive input we have received from our shareholders on this topic over the past few months has guided our ongoing review."

Analysts and investors have said that Vigodman's first mission as CEO would be to get the board of directors - whose members do not see eye to eye on the future of Israel's biggest company - united and functioning.

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