January 2, 2014 / 9:11 AM / in 4 years

Teva Pharm to name Erez Vigodman as CEO this month -report

JERUSALEM, Jan 2 (Reuters) - Teva Pharmaceutical Industries , the world’s largest generic drugmaker, will name Erez Vigodman as its new chief executive officer this month, financial news website TheMarker said on Thursday.

TheMarker cited unnamed sources as saying Teva would introduce Vigodman as CEO at the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco on Jan. 13. It did not elaborate.

A Teva spokesman said the company does not comment on rumours.

Vigodman, a former Teva director, has been a front runner for the job since Jeremy Levin stepped down at the end of October amid a difference of opinion with the board over how to implement a new company strategy.

As CEO of MA Industries, Vigodman was credited with turning around the generic crop protection company, whose controlling share was ultimately sold to China National Chemical Corp in 2011. Vigodman, whose strength lies in streamlining companies, was also CEO of Israeli food and beverage maker Strauss Group .

Teva last year embarked on a restructuring plan, including 5,000 layoffs - 10 percent of its workforce - as it prepares for lower-priced competition to its best-selling multiple sclerosis drug Copaxone. Copycat versions of Copaxone could hit the market as early as May.

Citi analyst Liav Abraham said he expects a new CEO to be named by Feb. 6, when Teva issues fourth-quarter financial results and believes Vigodman would be a good choice.

“Although investors may express some scepticism if Mr. Vigodman is selected due to his lack of experience in the pharma industry, we note his successful record in the execution of turnaround strategies at large publicly traded companies, which is relevant for Teva as the company faces the loss of exclusivity of Copaxone and implementation of an extensive $2 billion cost reduction programme,” he wrote in a client note.

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