Teva said Monday that a report from Channel 2 News suggesting that CEO Jeremy Levin may resign over a rift with the company's board of directors is a "baseless" claim. The report, citing unnamed sources, indicated that there were strong differences of opinion between Levin and chairman Phillip Frost over the implementation of Teva's new strategy, which saw the drugmaker recently announce 5000 job cuts.
According to Channel 2 News, Frost wants Teva to move ahead with the job reductions in Israel, where up to 800 employees could be affected, while Levin has met with the head of the workers' union and is looking to make the cuts in coordination with the union and a government ministry. The news report suggested that the company's management wrote a letter to the board saying that "although we are in the initial stages of implementing our strategy, the lack of unity among the board of directors and CEO hurts our ability to make the necessary changes."
The letter reportedly urged the board to "reconsider its intervention in the daily course of business that we believe has become common in recent months and prevents management from being able to manage Teva effectively." In response to the claims, Teva said "the company's management is working to formulate and implement a strategy in full cooperation with the board of directors," adding that "all decisions taken by management headed by the CEO are reviewed and agreed on by the board."
Levin, who was appointed CEO last year, is restructuring the company by increasing its focus on branded drugs and divesting businesses in non-core areas as it prepares for generic competition to Copaxone (glatiramer acetate) next year.
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