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Malik To Step Down As Viatris President Amid Continuing Strategic Shift

Former Matrix And Mylan Executive Will Retire From Current Position In April 2024

Executive Summary

Rajiv Malik is to retire as president of Viatris from 1 April 2024, amid a continuing strategic transformation for the business that was formed by the merger of Mylan and Pfizer’s Upjohn.

Rajiv Malik will retire as president of Viatris and as a company executive from 1 April 2024, the company has announced, as the organization formed through the merger of Mylan and Pfizer’s Upjohn continues to transform itself with a series of divestments.

Malik – who was previously president of Mylan, which he first joined in 2007 after it acquired a controlling stake in Matrix Laboratories where was chief executive officer from 2005 to 2008 – has been “responsible for the day-to-day operations of Viatris since its inception,” the company said, noting that his “strategic vision and leadership played a key role in successfully integrating Viatris’s legacy companies, Mylan and Upjohn.”

Describing Malik as a “powerful asset for the company,” Viatris noted that he had overseen the firm’s commercial business units, its commercial development, medical, information technology and quality functions, as well as R&D and operations. He will continue to serve on the Viatris board.

While the firm did not offer a reason for Malik’s departure, the move comes as Viatris is continuing to transform itself with a series of major moves under its new CEO, brand industry veteran Scott Smith. (Also see "Viatris To Bring In Plenty Of Brand Knowledge With New CEO Smith" - Generics Bulletin, 27 Feb, 2023.)

Having already sold off its biosimilars business to former partner Biocon (Also see "Offloading Biosimilars To Biocon ‘First Step’ Towards Viatris’ $9bn Target" - Generics Bulletin, 1 Mar, 2022.), the company recently unveiled plans to offload four more businesses that it has deemed unfit for the next phase of its strategic roadmap, including its six-facility-strong active pharmaceutical ingredients operations in India (see sidebar).

However, despite such a significant shift in focus in recent years, the firm has insisted that it is “not walking away” from the off-patent sector. (Also see "Viatris Is ‘Not Walking Away’ From Generics" - Generics Bulletin, 16 May, 2023.)

It recently launched the first US rival to Symbicort (budesonide/formoterol) in the form of its Breyna version, and has also pointed to the potential of its complex injectables and steriles pipeline. (Also see "Viatris Debuts US Symbicort Rival" - Generics Bulletin, 31 Jul, 2023.) (Also see "Viatris: Watch Out For Potential Complex Injectable Launches In 2023" - Generics Bulletin, 14 Aug, 2023.)

Viatris executive chairman Robert Coury – who is himself soon changing role, leaving his position as executive chairman to become chairman emeritus and senior strategic advisor to the board and management at the end of this year (Also see "Who’s Hired? New Mithra CEO Mulls Selling Generics Business" - Generics Bulletin, 30 May, 2023.) – lauded Malik’s contribution to the business.

“There are not enough words to express how much Rajiv Malik as both a partner and a leader has meant to me, first at Mylan and now Viatris,” Coury said. “He is the rarest of individuals who possesses a truly unique skillset. We could not have reached all of our successes to date without him.”

“With my impending transition from the Viatris board of directors in December, I am pleased that Rajiv has agreed to remain on the board to ensure the continuity of his experience and insight on the overall operations of the company. On behalf of myself and my fellow members of the board of directors, I sincerely cannot thank him enough for his leadership and dedication over these past 16 years, and the board looks forward to his continued service.”

CEO Scott Smith said that he “could not have asked for a better partner during my onboarding at the company,” underlining that Malik’s “knowledge of the industry and overall command and understanding of all aspects of our business are truly extraordinary.”

“I am also tremendously grateful that as we continue on our path to execute on Phase 2 of our strategic plan in 2024, his immense skillset and experience will remain accessible to me as I continue to build my leadership team for the future.”

Malik himself said that “my time as president of Mylan and now Viatris has truly been nothing less than extraordinary as we worked to build a global healthcare powerhouse with unmatched scale and patient impact,” crediting Coury for his “constant mentoring, support and leadership” and commenting that “Robert’s incredible vision, passion and unwavering dedication consistently brings out the best in all of us.”

Malik also said “I am pleased to remain available to Scott as he continues to build out his operational structure and also look forward to continuing to support the long-term success of the company as a member of the board.”


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