Veteran CEO of German drugmaker Stada resigns
- Stada Arzneimittel, a German generic drugmaker, on Monday said its veteran chief executive Hartmut Retzlaff resigned from his position as chairman of the management board, roughly two months after stepping down due to a "serious, long-term illness."
- Matthias Wiedenfels, a member of the executive board, was appointed as interim CEO in June when Retzlaff, who ran Stada for 23 years, initially stepped down.
- Stada is under pressure from the investor Active Ownership Capital (AOC) to overhaul its supervisory board. An election of four shareholder representatives to the board is slated for late August, two years earlier than planned after AOC pushed for new members. AOC owns a roughly 5% share of Stada voting rights.
AOC is trying to replace Stada's chairman of the supervisory board Martin Abend and board member Carl Oetker, putting forward several former pharmaceutical executives for consideration by shareholders, reports Reuters.
Stada's board has instead proposed four of its own candidates for election, seeking to defend itself from AOC's hostile efforts. Four current members will step down on August 26 to make room for the candidates on the six-person supervisory board.
Among board's nominees are Amgen's former head of U.S. commercial operations , a former chief operating officer of Aenova Holding GmbH, a chief marketing officer at Opel Group and a former Bayer exec.
AOC opposes two of the four nominees listed by Stada, according to Reuters. Similar to other German companies, Stada has both a supervisory and a management board.
According to the company, AOC has a 5.05% share of voting rights, although if financial instruments are included that number rises to just under 7%.
Over half of Stada's revenues come from generics sales, although it also has a substantial portfolio of branded products. Revenues totaled just over €1 billion in the first six months of 2016, a tick up from a year prior.
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