Ex-Teva exec to be new Hikma CEO

Hikma has a new chief executive after Said Darwazah, the son of the company’s late founder, Samih Darwazah, stepped aside.

The generics and injectables company has appointed former Teva executive Sigurdur Olafsson as its new CEO, who will also join the board as an executive director if he is elected at the next AGM in May.

Darwazah is not quitting the company completely – he will assume the position of executive chairman.

Sigurdur Olafsson

Olafsson’s appointment comes as Hikma’s generics business is struggling amid a price squeeze which has caused it to lower revenue guidance for this part of the business twice last year.

Based in Jordan but listed in London, Hikma has been renegotiating contracts with suppliers to cut costs and boost profitability.

In a statement, Hikma said Olafsson will develop and execute Hikma’s global strategy, and focus on ways to accelerate growth of its business.

Darwazah will oversee and engage with Olafsson in setting strategy to improve performance in the long term.

Olafsson was most recently president and CEO of Teva’s generics business, a position he held from 2014 to 2016.

He joined Teva after its merger with generics firm Actavis – he was in charge of global generics at Actavis (Watson) from 2010 to 2012, and was CEO of the Actavis Group from 2008 to 2010.

Olafsson joined Actavis in 2003 and worked for Pfizer in its global R&D organisation from 1998 to 2003. From 1994 to 1998 he worked as head of drug development for Iceland’s Omega Pharma.

Last month the company also appointed Surendera Tyagi, PhD, as its new group chief scientific officer and global head of research and development.

Dr Tyagi will focus on the company’s non-injectables business during the first year and will become a member of Hikma’s executive committee.

He joins from Fresenius Kabi, where he led their US Innovation & Development Centre and expanded the company’s oncology business.

Horizon

In a separate development it has emerged that Darrin Disley has quit as CEO of Cambridge, UK-based genetics company Horizon.

Press reports gave no indication as to why Disley has quit and his future plans, indicating that he wishes to pursue other business interests.

The company’s website said that chief financial officer Richard Vellacott is now interim CEO.