First Manhattan Announces That Anthony Zook Has Agreed to Serve as Vivus CEO If Its Director Nominees Are Elected
First Manhattan Co. (“FMC”), an owner-managed and operated investment advisory firm and the owner of approximately 9.9 percent of the outstanding shares of VIVUS, Inc. (“Vivus”) (NASDAQ: VVUS), today announced that Anthony (“Tony”) Zook has agreed to serve as Vivus' CEO if FMC's director nominees are elected at the upcoming Vivus shareholder meeting on July 15, 2013.
Mr. Zook is a world-class executive who has held multiple senior leadership positions at some of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies, most recently as the Executive Vice President for Global Commercial Operations at AstraZeneca, a position he held until February 2013. At AstraZeneca, Mr. Zook played leadership roles, both in the US and globally, in the market delivery of several blockbuster products, each with sales in excess of $1 billion, including Nexium, Crestor, Pulmicort Respules, Seroquel, Toprol XL and Symbicort. He also helped manage the commercial integration of Astra and Zeneca to help create AstraZeneca, and served as President of MedImmune, AstraZeneca's largest biotech acquisition, from November 2008 to December 2009.
As Executive Vice President of Global Commercial Operations at AstraZeneca, Mr. Zook was responsible for commercial activities worldwide that led to the delivery of a $28 billion dollar business, and was responsible for approximately 28,000 people with operations in more than 85 countries. Among other accomplishments, Mr. Zook led AstraZeneca's commercialization team on all partnering activities with Bristol Myers Squibb for Onglyza and Forxiga, oral Type 2 diabetes agents that are highly relevant to a market directly adjacent to the obesity market.
Prior to serving as EVP of Global Commercial Operations, Mr. Zook held a series of increasingly senior positions at AstraZeneca, including President of its U.S. business, Executive Vice President of Global Marketing, Executive Vice President and CEO of North America, and President of MedImmune.
“Vivus presents an exciting challenge and enormous opportunity,” said Tony Zook. “I was attracted to Vivus because Qsymia has the potential to improve the quality of life for millions of people. While there is still much work to be done to commercialize Qsymia, I am confident that I can work closely with the talented employees of Vivus and the independent board to bring an exciting medicine to people who can benefit from it and put Vivus on a trajectory of growth and value creation.”
“Tony Zook becoming CEO of Vivus is great news for all shareholders,” stated Sam Colin, Senior Managing Partner at FMC. “Tony is a world-class executive with exactly the right qualifications to lead Vivus to success. He has an extraordinary track record of launching blockbuster drugs in the U.S. primary care market, and we are confident he will do the same with Qsymia.
“We have long believed that a truly independent and highly qualified board would serve as a magnet to attract the best CEO to Vivus. Tony's arrival has proven this to be true. Moreover, Tony will dramatically amplify that magnetic effect and allow us to further attract the best talent to commercialize the best obesity drug ever developed. We look forward to working with him to achieve all the elements of our comprehensive strategic plan to grow the company and bring value to all shareholders,” Mr. Colin concluded.
David Norton, a nominee on the First Manhattan slate and the former Johnson & Johnson Company Group Chairman, Global Pharmaceuticals, added, “Tony is the perfect choice to lead Vivus. He has the ideal combination of commercialization and leadership skills, and all of the director nominees are confident that he will turn Vivus around. We very much look forward to working with him.”
Mr. Zook is a former Chairman of The National Pharmaceutical Council; a Board member of Frostburg University and Executive Director of Bringing Hope Home, a non-profit organization dedicated to emotionally and financially supporting families battling cancer. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Frostburg University.
Additional details regarding the FMC nominees' strategic plan for value creation at Vivus are available at: http://www.ourmaterials.com/VVUS/. However, the execution of any strategic plan, including the hiring of any management personnel, will be subject to the fiduciary duties of the directors, if elected.
About First Manhattan Co.
First Manhattan Co. (“FMC”) was founded in 1964 and remains an owner-operated investment advisory firm. FMC is registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission as an investment adviser and as a broker-dealer, and is a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).
FMC provides professional investment management services primarily to high net worth individuals as well as to partnerships, trusts, retirement accounts, pension plans and institutional clients. The firm currently manages in excess of $14 billion.
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