JERUSALEM Oct 28 Teva Pharmaceutical Industries
has denied an Israeli media report that Chief Executive
Jeremy Levin was considering resigning due to a rift with the
company's board of directors.
"These are baseless claims," Israel-based Teva, the world's
largest generic drugmaker, said in an emailed statement on
Channel 2 television quoted unnamed sources as saying there
were strong differences of opinion between Levin and Chairman
Phillip Frost over the implementation of Teva's new strategy.
Levin took the helm of Teva in May 2012 after the
company had grown rapidly through acquisitions. He promised to
reshape the company by developing its own medicines, amid
increasing competition in the generics market, and to divest
businesses in non-core areas.
Earlier this month, Teva said it would cut 5,000 jobs - 10
percent of its workforce - accelerating a cost-cutting plan as
it prepares for lower-priced competition to its best-selling
multiple sclerosis drug Copaxone.
According to Channel 2, Teva's management wrote a letter to
the board saying that "although we are in the initial stages of
implementing our strategy, the lack of unity among the board of
directors and CEO hurts our ability to make the necessary
It urged the board to "reconsider its intervention in the
daily course of business that we believe has become common in
recent months and prevents management from being able to manage
Teva effectively," Channel 2 said.
It noted that part of the problem stemmed from conflicting
ideas of laying off workers in Israel. Under the plan, hundreds
of Israeli employees were set to lose their jobs but under
pressure from the government and a trade union, Levin agreed to
coordinate any reductions with the union and state.
Levin's aides claim, according to Channel 2, that Frost is
trying to push him out and that in recent days Levin was
considering retiring if the situation continues.
Teva said Levin and Frost continue to work together.
"All decisions made by the company's management, led by its
CEO, have been made with consultation and agreement of the
board," Teva added.
Shares of Tel Aviv-listed Teva were down 0.75 percent at
midday in a flat broader market.