Benny Landa: Teva board still needs shaking up

Benny Landa Photo: Eyal Yizhar

Activist Teva investor Landa hopes new CEO Kare Schultz will wean the company off generics.

Printing technology entrepreneur Benny Landa, who is an activist investor in Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (NYSE: TEVA; TASE: TEVA), welcomes the appointment of Kare Schultz as Teva's new CEO. "On paper, Schultz seems a very suitable appointment, a person with the right background, and the right experience of the kind of action that Teva is crying out for. Nevertheless, I don't know the man, and only time will tell who he is and what he's like."

Schultz has had a long career in the pharma industry in Danish company Novo Nordisk and as CEO of H. Lundbeck, which specializes in treatments for neurological diseases, as does the innovative business of Teva. At Lundbeck, he led a restructuring program that included layoffs.

With the appointment of a CEO with experience in pharma, do you still see a need to replace Teva's board of directors?

"Part of the board has already been replaced, and the process should continue. It is still necessary to shake up and refresh the board."

"To bring in people with experience in generics, which is an area in which Schultz has less expertise?

"No. There are enough generics people in the company's senior management. In my view, Teva needs to wean itself off its dependence on generics and to focus more and more on original drugs – and this is the right person for that, and the company can do it. It has the right people, it has the right products in the pipeline, and all that's required is to make the decision that that is the way forward."

Would you buy Teva today?

"I would have bought Teva yesterday! How much did the share price go up? 20%. So here's a man worth a $3 billion rise in value. I don't believe that one person compensates for the loss of value in the company. He is vital, but not enough, and there's still a very steep mountain to climb. He's coming into a company that, thank God, doesn't lack challenges."

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on September 12, 2017

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

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Benny Landa Photo: Eyal Yizhar
Benny Landa Photo: Eyal Yizhar
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