Savient Gets New CEO, Cuts Jobs

Zacks

Savient Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (SVNT) recently announced that Louis Ferrari has been entrusted the role of President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) by the company’s board of directors. Mr. Ferrari possesses over 30 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry.

He held the position of Executive Vice President, President North American Commercial Operations at Savient and is integrally involved in the rollout of Savient’s key drug, Krystexxa, and development of the company’s growth strategies. Prior to joining Savient in February 2011, Louis Ferrari was employed at Johnson and Johnson (JNJ) as Vice President of oncology and nephrology, sales and marketing.

He will replace interim CEO, David Y. Norton. Both David Y. Norton and Mr. Ferrari will continue to be members of Savient’s board of directors.

Meanwhile, the company also announced job cuts of approximately 35% (effective from September 10, 2012) as part of a restructuring initiative. Savient plans to restructure its field force. The restructured field force will comprise 35 key account managers and 3 regional business directors.

The restructuring initiative, aimed at improving operating efficiencies, is expected to yield $56 million in operating expense savings annually by 2013 with annualized first quarter 2012 operating expenses as a base.

In 2012, the company expects to recognize operating expense savings of approximately $6.5 million. These restructuring initiatives are expected to cost approximately $4.7 million of which $3.6 million will be incurred in 2012.

Recommendation

We currently have a Neutral recommendation on Savient. The stock carries a Zacks #3 Rank (Hold rating) in the short run.

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