Valeant Pharma picks Perrigo leader to become next CEO

CEO Joseph C. Papa to replace J. Michael Pearson

Embattled drugmaker Valeant Pharmaceuticals has chosen Perrigo Co. Chairman and CEO Joseph C. Papa to become its new CEO, replacing J. Michael Pearson.

Valeant said Monday that the 60-year-old executive will start early next month and also join the company’s board.

Papa has served as Perrigo Co. Plc chairman since 2006 and chairman of that company’s board since 2007.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. said last month that Pearson was leaving but would stay until his replacement is hired. Pearson has led the Canadian drugmaker since 2010, but his last year with the company has been particularly rocky.

Investors have seen Valeant’s stock shed nearly around 90 per cent of its value after peaking at more than $260 last August. Since then, the drugmaker has dealt with shareholder litigation and headaches like rising debt levels and federal probes into its accounting and business practices.

Earlier this year, Valeant said it would delay filing its 2015 annual report with regulators while it sorts out its former relationship with the mail-order pharmacy Philidor. Valeant has said about $58 million in sales to Philidor were improperly recognized too early — when they were delivered to Philidor, rather than when patients received the products.

Valeant said last month, when it announced Pearson’s planned departure, that it also had added activist investor William Ackman to its board.

Pearson, who started the year on a two-month medical leave, is scheduled to testify later this week before a Senate committee investigating the causes of soaring prescription medicine prices.

Valeant’s stock rose 2.1 per cent, or 78 cents per share, to $36.78 in Monday morning trading. Perrigo shares lost almost 13 per cent to $105.72.

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