Teva CEO-designate Jeremy Levin. Inaguration speech in Hebrew
Photo: Sivan Farag
Chairman Phillip Frost. 'Teva is one of Israel's national treasures'
Photo: Oz Maron

Is Teva still an Israeli company?

With American CEO and chairman, is world's largest generic maker turning into an American company?

The recent succession plan in Teva raise the question whether the world's largest generic drug maker can still be considered an Israeli company or has basically turned into an American company.


Teva, which was founded in the early 1900s in Jerusalem as a wholesale distribution company providing medications to the city's residents using camels and donkeys, appears to have adopted an American identity these days.


Teva is the biggest company in Israel. Its management offices are located in Petah Tikva and it employs more than 6,000 workers in the Jewish state and another 30,000 across the world.


The late Eli Hurvitz retired from his position as Teva chairman about two years ago, and was replaced by current Chairman Dr. Phillip Frost.


Frost told Yedioth Ahronoth at the time, "My commitment is to increase Teva's growth. As a Jew, I am committed to continue Teva's success as it is one of Israel's national treasures. There is no business logic in relocating the management."


CEO-designate Jeremy Levin began his inauguration speech in Hebrew. Outgoing CEO Shlomo Yanai also allayed the fears that an American chief executive would be the first step in removing Teva from Israel.


"Just like Coca Cola is a global American company based in the United States and Nokia is a global Finnish company based in Finland, Teva is a global Israeli company based in Israel," he said.


Production activities in Israel expanded

According to Teva's statute, the company's management belongs in Israel. Amending the statute requires the approval of the general assembly and board of directors.


"Teva is a global company with headquarters and some production factories in Israel. In recent years, Teva expanded its production activities in Israel, such as the Copaxone factory. For these factories it receives tax benefits, and it is unlikely to relocate them outside Israel in the near future," says analyst Natalie Gottlieb of the IBI Investment House.


Dan Oren, CEO and owner of Israeli pharmaceutical company Dexcel Pharma, which exports 85% of its products with an annual sales turnover of $270 million, says that "Teva is still an Israeli company. Its headquarters remain in Israel.


"It's true that once the both the chairman and CEO are Americans the company takes on an American identity, but I see nothing wrong with that. It's in favor of the company and the shareholders.


"I expect the management to be more prepared for the challenges facing Teva: The growing competition on the part of hundreds of pharmaceutical companies in different markets.


"I believe the new CEO will direct more resources to branded drugs and original products – a field which Teva has not focused on sufficiently in the past. The management style of a CEO from the outside will be more global now.


"Teva could definitely have a good Israeli CEO, but the new chief possesses knowledge and experience which Teva's previous CEOs did not have: He is both a doctor and has significant experience in the pharmaceutical industry. I am certain that he is blessing for Teva."



פרסום ראשון: 01.14.12, 08:42
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