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Teva Pharmaceutical Industries names a new CEO

After a months-long search, it selected Kare Schultz, an industry veteran who comes from Denmark's H. Lundbeck A/S.

Kare Schultz is the new president and CEO at Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, the world’s largest generic-drug maker.
Kare Schultz is the new president and CEO at Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, the world’s largest generic-drug maker.Read moreTeva Pharmaceutical Industries

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. named a new president and CEO Monday: Kare Schultz, a 30-year veteran of pharmaceutical and health care companies.

Shares of Teva, the world's largest maker of generic medicines, jumped 21 percent after the news.

Schultz is currently president and CEO of Denmark's H. Lundbeck A/S. Before that, he was chief operating officer of Novo Nordisk. He will be based at Teva's headquarters in Petah Tikva, Israel.

Teva had been without a permanent CEO since Erez Vigodman stepped down in February for undisclosed reasons.

The company has lost market value and investor confidence in the months-long search for a new top executive who would come up with a plan to address Teva's challenges in its U.S. generic drug business and large debt from the $40 billion acquisition of Allergan's generics business in 2015.

At Lundbeck, Schultz, 56, is credited with leading a restructuring and turnaround strategy that has put the company on track to achieve an all-time high for revenue and earnings, Teva said.

Teva board chairman Sol Barer said Schultz was the right leader to position Teva for long-term success.

'Kare has deep insight into the global pharmaceutical industry and a keen knowledge of the generic and specialty drug markets," Barer said in a statement.

Schultz said that he was honored to join Teva, an "iconic company" that he has long admired. "What drew me to Teva, and what makes Teva different from its peers, is its unique commitment to growing an extensive global reach while continuing to provide new and high-quality treatments for patients, and an innovative culture for its employees," Schultz said.

In July, reports circulated that Teva was going to offer the top job to AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot. Soriot remained with AstraZeneca, whose U.S. headquarters are in Wilmington.

In August, Teva announced it would cut 7,000 jobs by year's end, close or sell 15 factories, and quit operations in 45 countries. None of the scheduled plants to be shut or sold are in Pennsylvania or New Jersey. The bulk of the jobs cuts are not here, either.

Among Teva's challenges are looming competition for its best-selling branded multiple-sclerosis drug, Copaxone. The drug maker lost a patent-infringement case in February to protect Copaxone from lower-cost generic competition.

"Schultz will be Teva's fourth CEO over the last six years, and we think Teva must stabilize its executive ranks to execute on its turnaround strategy and lower its high debt level, currently at $34 billion," said analyst Jeffrey Loo of CFRA Research in a client note. "We view Schultz's appointment positively as he has significant drug experience and led a turnaround at Lundbeck, including a sizable restructuring."

Teva, which employs more than 2,000 in Pennsylvania, recently lowered its outlook for the rest of 2017, and cut its dividend payout.

Teva shares closed up 19.35 percent, or $3, at $18.50.