Teva names Erez Vigodman as president and CEO

Erez Vigodman will, indeed, succeed Jeremy Levin as the chief executive officer of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.

Teva made the announcement Thursday morning before the stock market opened in Israel, hoping it will calm investors and the Wall Street community, which was concerned that disagreement and disarray at the top of the drugmaker was further delaying plans to rebuild.

Reports last week in Israel-based media suggested Vigodman was the leading candidate, though Teva declined comment at the time.

Vigodman, 54, was already a member of the Teva board of directors and has experience revamping other companies. Vigodman is currently the CEO of Israel-based Makhteshim Agan Industries (MAI), the world's leading generic agrochemical company. He will retain that position until Feb. 6 and join Teva on Feb. 11.

Eyal Desheh, who had served as interim CEO after Levin departed in late October, will return to his previous position as chief financial officer.

Teva is based in Israel, but its Americas headquarters is in North Wales, Montgomery County, and it has other facilities in suburban Philadelphia. The company has about 2,300 employees in Pennsylvania.

"As a member of the Teva Board since 2009, Erez has a deep understanding of the company and the industry in which it operates, putting him in a strong position to hit the ground running and deliver value for shareholders," Dr. Phillip Frost, chairman of the board of directors, said in a statement. "I would like to thank Eyal for leading the company through an important time and maintaining focus on the execution of our strategy. I would also like to thank all the members of the board of directors who have diligently given of their time in this intensive selection process."

In the same company statement, Vigodman said, "It is a great honor for me to be named president and CEO of Teva, a pioneer in the healthcare industry. I am excited to work with the management team and Teva's employees to build on the great traditions of the company to solidify our global leadership and fully tap the company's great potential to deliver medicines and solutions to patients all over the world. I understand the challenges facing Teva and I am confident that, together with the management team, we can address these challenges and deliver on our commitment to creating value for our shareholders by expanding Teva's businesses and delivering long-term growth."