Valeant CEO on medical leave, office created to temporarily lead company: 5 things to know

J. Michael Pearson, CEO of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, a publicly-traded, multinational specialty drug company based in Laval, Quebec, is on medical leave after being diagnosed with severe pneumonia, and a group of company executives will take over the role, Valeant said, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal.

Here are five things to know about Mr. Pearson.

1. The pharmaceutical company has created a three-man office of the chief executive to temporarily lead Valeant in Mr. Pearson's absence, according to the report. The office of the chief executive includes General Counsel Robert Chai-Onn, CFO Robert Rosiello and Ari Kellen, who oversees Valeant's U.S. dermatology and contact lens divisions.

2. The executives who will temporarily lead Valeant will receive oversight and support from a new board committee that comprises Robert Ingram, Valeant's lead independent director, former finance chief Howard Schiller and G. Mason Morfit, president of large holder ValueAct Capital.

3. The announcement of Mr. Pearson's medical leave and the decision to have three executives take over the role comes as Mr. Pearson has been criticized in regard to Valeant's business model. Specifically, the company and Mr. Pearson have come under pressure for steep price increases on some drugs and for close ties to Philidor Rx Services, a mail-order pharmacy that used aggressive tactics to overcome insurer barriers to reimbursing its medicines, according to Reuters. Valeant was forced to end its relationship with Philidor Rx Services.

4. As the office of the chief executive takes over for Mr. Pearson, a key concern for company leaders will be executing a new recently announced drug-distribution deal with Deerfield, Ill.-based Walgreens Boots Alliance, according to The Wall Street Journal.

5. Mr. Pearson took the helm of Valeant in 2008.


More articles on healthcare executive moves:

Sparks Health System names assistant CFO: 4 things to know
COPE Health Solutions names VP: 5 things to know
Lahey names endowed chair of cardiovascular services: 3 things to know

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