Chairman and CEO Pearson still hospitalized, company says
LAVAL, Quebec — Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. has named former chief financial officer Howard Schiller as interim chief executive officer, effective immediately.
Valeant said Wednesday that it appointed Schiller to the interim role because chairman and CEO J. Michael Pearson remains in the hospital, where he is being treated for severe pneumonia, and the timing of his return is uncertain. The company announced on Dec. 28 that Pearson went on a medical leave of absence.
“Valeant is a strong company with a collection of great franchises and strong health care brands, innovative strategies and an exceptionally productive approach to R&D. I appreciate the confidence the board has placed in me as I step into this role while Mike focuses on his health,” commented Schiller, who served as CFO from December 2011 to June 2015 and currently serves on the board of directors. “Our future is incredibly bright, and I am looking forward to working with the rest of the senior leadership, as well as the entire Valeant team, to continue to execute on our strategic plan.”
Also on Wednesday, Valeant announced that Robert Ingram, lead independent director, will serve as interim chairman of the board.
“As Mike’s medical leave continues, and the timing of his recovery and return remains uncertain, Howard will now step in as CEO on an interim basis,” Ingram stated. “Howard’s performance as Valeant’s CFO, as well as his deep understanding of Valeant’s operations, are excellent and we are grateful that he has agreed to take on this role. The board will continue to work closely with Howard and the other members of the senior management team to implement Valeant’s strategy successfully in Mike’s absence.”
In announcing Pearson’s leave of absence, Valeant said it had created an interim Office of the CEO, including Robert Chai-Onn, executive vice president and general counsel; Ari Kellen, executive vice president and company group chairman; and Robert Rosiello, executive vice president and CFO. To oversee and support the Office of the CEO, the company’s board also had set up a committee including Schiller, Ingram and G. Mason Morfit, president of ValueAct Capital.