Valeant Pharmaceuticals has announced its search for a new chief executive officer after the resignation of current CEO J. Michael Pearson.
Pearson (pictured) will remain in post as CEO until his successor is named. He recently returned from an extended leave of absence after suffering from pneumonia.
During his eight year tenure, Pearson has found himself under fire from both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders over drug pricing. Two state attorney generals have opened investigations into the company’s pricing strategies.
Robert Ingram, chairman of the board, called the past few months “difficult”, while Pearson commented on his “regret” over “the controversies that have adversely impacted our business over the past several months”.
The Candian drug maker has also made changes to the board of directors, appointing William A. Ackman and bidding farewell to Katharine B. Stevenson, who voluntarily resigned from the board to allow Ackman to take her place. The board also asked former chief financial officer Howard Schiller to resign but he has not so far done so. Schiller took over as interim CEO while Pearson was on leave.
Shares in the company fell by 50% recently following the news of a delay on the company’s regulatory filings and underperformance of some of the company’s businesses.
Ackman said, “On behalf of all shareholders, we are extremely appreciative of Valeant employees’ hard work and commitment during this challenging time for the company.”