Benny Landa, the largest active private investor in Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (NYSE: TEVA; TASE: TEVA), has told "Globes" that what is happening in the company is no less than a catastrophe. "I've been saying this for three or four years: the company board of directors is incapable of making big decisions and getting the company back on track," he says.
Landa adds that someone on the board of directors is trying to undermine the efforts of Teva chairman Sol Barer to bring a CEO with an international reputation to the company. He explains, "There's a person on the board of directors on whom we pinned great hopes - Sol Barer. We assumed that he would be able to bring a well-known CEO to the company, but it's clear that someone on the board of directors doesn't want him to succeed, and is trying to undermine his efforts. This saboteur has to be uncovered and thrown out of the company. This saboteur has great exposure; he's causing major damage."
According to Landa, the company chairman is working with one hand tied behind his back, because the entire board of directors is busy with intrigues, instead of making the company prosperous. Commenting on Teva acting CEO Yitzhak Peterburg, Landa said, "The CEO today was the chairman who signed and approved the Actavis deal – it's a catastrophe. The current board of directors isn't experienced enough."
"When Jeremy Levin was appointed CEO," Landa says, "there was a clear strategy of looking towards the future and utilizing Israel's strong point, which is innovation. Take Copaxone and the anti-migraine drug, for example. That's innovation – that's Israel's strong point. Continuing to compete in the generics market, which is becoming a futures market in commodities, isn't right.
"That was in the past, when Eli Hurvitz was in charge. A clear and innovative strategy is needed now, and only a big-name CEO can do that, but that's what this board of directors is not allowing to happen."
Teva board of directors
"Teva has to end the policy of directors bringing their friends to the board of directors. The board of directors has to be reselected every year, and when they appoint one of their own as CEO for the second time already, it doesn't allow the company to get back on track and set a clear strategy. Keep in mind that they fired Levin less than two years after he was appointed, just because he wasn't one of them. The company is still talking about the future in terms of the past," Landa concluded.
Published by Globes [online], Israel Business News - www.globes-online.com - on August 6, 2017
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