PSU grad and former AstraZeneca executive Tony Zook resigns from Vivus for health reasons

Tony Zook, former executive at AstraZeneca, serves on the Frostburg State board of trustees

Tony Zook, who was part of the leadership at AstraZeneca until earlier this year, resigned for health reasons from his post as chief executive officer of California drugmaker Vivus, Inc.

Zook, who has a degree in chemical engineering from from Penn State and has served on the board of the Pennsylvania Division of the American Cancer Society, said in a statement that unspecified health concerns did not allow him to devote enough time to the job he was named to on July 22.

Zook will be replaced by former Johnson & Johnson executive Seth Fischer, who is the third leader of the company this year. Vivus developed an obesity drug, Qsymia, but did not sell enough of the product to meet the demands of the private equity company holding the most stock, First Manhattan, Co.

"I believe strongly in the potential of Qsymia, the VIVUS organization and the future direction of the company," Zook said in a statement. "This has been a difficult decision. Unfortunately, I cannot devote the necessary time and focus to the company, but instead must concentrate on personal health issues."

Besides the degree from Penn State, Zook has a degree from Frostburg State University in Maryland and serves on the school's board of trustees.