Shlomo Yanai, president and chief executive officer of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., plans to retire in May, and the company has named Jeremy Levin, a former senior executive at Bristol-Myers Squibb to succeed him.

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, chief executive officer, CEO, Shlomo Yanai, Jeremy Levin, Philip Frost, Bristol-Myers Squibb, pharmaceutical industry, succession plan, pharmaceuticals sector

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Former Bristol-Myers exec to head Teva

January 3rd, 2012

JERUSALEM – Shlomo Yanai, president and chief executive officer of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., plans to retire in May, and the company has named Jeremy Levin, a former senior executive at Bristol-Myers Squibb to succeed him.

Israel-based Teva announced the move, which it said is part of a succession plan, late Sunday evening.

According to Teva, the plan is the result of a decision by the 59-year-old Yanai to "move on to a new phase in his career" after five years at the helm of Teva, during which time he led a growth strategy that has taken the company from an $8.4 billion primarily generics business in 2006 to a more diversified pharmaceutical company with expected 2012 revenue of $22 billion, and an expanded footprint in the European, Asian and Latin America markets.

"Over the past five years, Teva has been transformed from a successful generics business into a major global pharmaceutical company," Yanai said in a statement. "We have achieved double-digit increases in sales and earnings and have built, acquired or partnered to create new opportunities to support future sustainable growth. I believe 2012 will be yet another year of profitable growth. I look forward to completing my tenure at Teva and moving on to my next challenging venture. I am confident that Jeremy Levin will lead Teva to its next stage of success."

Teva noted that its board conducted an extensive search for the company's next CEO and selected Levin, based on his strategic vision, deep knowledge of the pharmaceutical industry, broad global experience and leadership skills. The company said Levin, 58, has more than 25 years of experience in the pharmaceuticals sector, leading companies and people in the creation, development and delivery of medicines, and pointed out that he's recognized as a leader in creating commercial and research-and-development alliances.

"Dr. Levin is an exceptionally talented business leader with a deep understanding of the opportunities and challenges of the pharmaceutical industry," stated Teva chairman Phillip Frost. "He brings to Teva a wealth of experience and the hands-on skills required to foster the growth of a global pharmaceutical business. As a business leader and as a physician, he is passionately committed to bringing effective treatments to patients worldwide. His combination of vision, creative energy and an effective team-building management style make him an ideal choice to lead Teva into its next growth phase."

Before joining Bristol-Myers Squibb in 2007, Levin served from 2003 to 2007 as global head of business development and strategic alliances at Novartis. Earlier, he was CEO of Cadus Pharmaceuticals, a company he took public. 

"I have known and admired Teva for many years, not just as a global leader in generic drugs but as an outstanding innovator in pharmaceutical development and new strategic approaches to serve patients worldwide," Levin commented. "Demographic trends and economic pressures in developed and emerging markets are intensifying the challenge to provide good medicines at affordable prices. Teva, with its multiple platforms in generics, branded and OTC drugs, is in an especially good position to meet this challenge. It will be a privilege to work with the talented and dedicated people of Teva to fulfill this mission.

"I have had a marvelous experience at Bristol-Myers Squibb and am proud to have participated in the transformation of that company as a member of the senior management team," Levin added. "I have worked there with intelligent, hard-working, and committed colleagues, and I will treasure that experience. However, the opportunity to live and work in Israel and to contribute to and grow one of the country's great institutions is compelling. I look forward to working with Shlomo Yanai, the management team and the board in the coming months to achieve a seamless transition and to build a platform for long-term growth."