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Having cut Teva’s manufacturing headcount by thousands, Carlo de Notaristefani will retire

October 2, 2019
Life sciences

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After seven years of hacking away at Teva’s manufacturing operations, cutting, closing and selling off sites, Carlo de Notaristefani is stepping down. Notaristefani, who has gone through three CEOs in the process, is retiring and being replaced by Eric Drapé as executive VP of global operations.

The 58-year-old Drapé has been with Teva since 2014 and worked in a variety or roles, most recently as executive VP and chief quality officer of the Teva Group. He will be based at Teva’s global headquarters in Israel, the company announced today.

“During his tenure, Carlo and his team significantly improved the strength and performance of our global operations and supply chain while at the same time continuing to optimize the network, reduce cost and improve the competitiveness of our products,” Teva CEO Kåre Schultz said in a statement.

“Eric is the right leader to succeed Carlo at this time and take Teva global operations to the next level of performance, acting as a central driver of Teva’s mission and strategy. The organization is well prepared to ensure a smooth transition,” Schultz said.

Notaristefani was hired in 2012 when Jeremy Levin became Teva’s CEO, following Levin from Bristol-Myers Squibb. Notaristefani was tasked at the time with finding ways to downsize the company’s widespread and diverse manufacturing operations and supply chain, a move that was resisted by Teva’s board at the time and eventually resulted in Levin being ousted.

The manufacturing cuts continued under Erez Vigodman, who became CEO in 2014. The job became more complicated, however, when Teva in 2015 shelled out $40.5 billion for Actavis, Allergan’s generics unit, a disastrous move that added plans and employees and left the drugmaker struggling for the cash flow to soldier on. That deal and the attendant mess cost Vigodman his job but not Notaristefani who continued to oversee the closing and selling off of manufacturing sites around the globe.

Schultz took the top job in 2017 after a board change and was given a mandate to restore the company’s financial footing. He laid out a plant that would whack its headcount by 14,000, eliminating more than 25% of its worldwide workforce and cutting $3 billion in annual costs. Most of that burden fell on Notaristefani and his team, which identified about 40 sites to be vacated globally.

In August, Schultz told investors that the cuts and tucks would not end even after the drugmaker reaches its $3 billion cost-savings goal. While the next steps will not be as dramatic, he said they will be ongoing, creating efficiencies to build Teva’s margin.

“Now, we are not going to do a big splash restructuring, but we will do ongoing optimization of our manufacturing footprint,” Schultz said when Teva reported earnings. “I said before and I’ll repeat now, that once the restructuring program is fully executed, which will be at the end of this year, then we will share with you our longer-term plans for how to optimize manufacturing going forward.”

That, however, will be a job for Drapé.

By Eric Palmer

Source: Fierce Pharma

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