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Teva Pharmaceuticals Denies Picking New Chairman

Entrepreneur and shareholder Benny Landa continues to cause trouble for Teva.

Amir Elstein
Israel’s largest company and the world’s largest manufacturer of generic medications, pharmaceutical giant Teva, is denying reports that the company has found a new chairman. The denials came after its activist shareholder Benny Landa stated on his blog that he was informed by Teva’s former vice chairman Moshe Many that Mr. Amir Elstein was tapped to replace the company’s outgoing chairman Phillip Frost.

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Mr. Elstein is Vice Chairman of the Board of Teva Pharmaceuticals and Chairman of the Board of Tower Semiconductor. He is also the Chairman of the Board of the Israel Democracy Institute and Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Jerusalem College of Engineering and serves on the boards of directors of a number of other academic, scientific, educational, social and cultural institutions.

Elstein comes from one of Teva’s founding families

Mr. Landa’s post is critical of Teva’s reneging on a pledge it made to its investors,  to select a new chairman.

Landa wrote, “Even though the board claims to have hired a reputable search firm to identify credible succession candidates, I was informed yesterday by Moshe Many, Amir Elstein’s predecessor as vice chairman, that the board has already decided that it will name Amir Elstein as the next chairman.”

“We insist on proper corporate governance –- and expect the board composition to be upgraded. Teva should name a chairman of international repute, befitting the position.”

Mr. Many is leading a committee to select a new chairman for Teva.

In another attack on Teva’s board Many added, “There appears to be no limit to this board’s disregard for proper corporate governance and its disdain for shareholder views or interests.”

Raz Meirman, a Teva spokesman, said in a statement that, “no decision has been made regarding the identity of Teva’s next chairman. A committee led by Professor Moshe Many and Yossi Nitzani is currently engaged in a selection process.”

Landa is currently engaged in a fight for control of Teva. He is allied with Ruth Cheshin, a member of Teva’s founding family. The two investors will make their push at an upcoming shareholders meeting to be held on July 30.

Mr. Landa and Ms. Cheshin own a combined 0.3% stake in Teva.

But Landa claims to have the support of 20 different investors in the company, including Teva’s 14 largest institutional investors. Landa wanted Frost to leave the company because its stock had dropped 10% under Frost’s tenure as chairman.

Israeli entrepreneur Benny Landa, 68, was born in Poland and raised in Canada. He founded Indigo digital Press in 1977 and the Landa Group in 2003.

Mr. Landa holds 800 worldwide patents.



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