TORONTO — Apotex Inc. president and CEO Jeremy Desai resigned effective immediately Friday from the generic drug giant founded by the recently deceased billionaire Barry Sherman.
Desai’s resignation comes as he faces allegations in a U.S. lawsuit from Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. for allegedly accepting trade secrets from a Teva employee that he was thought to be in a romantic relationship with.
The lawsuit, filed last July in a Pennsylvania federal court, accuses Barinder Sandhu, who worked as a senior director of regulatory affairs for Teva’s U.S. generics division, of sharing trade secrets and other confidential information about Teva’s product development with its competitor Apotex through Desai.
The allegations have not been proven in court and Apotex filed a motion to dismiss the complaint as being based on insufficient facts to withstand scrutiny.
Apotex spokesman Jordan Berman declined to provide details on Desai’s departure other than to note he left “to pursue other opportunities.”
“We thank Jeremy for his contributions and wish him success in the next phase of his career,” Berman said in an email.
Apotex said Friday that Jack Kay, who previously served as CEO for the privately-held company, will once again step into the chief executive role while also maintaining his current position as vice-chairman.
Jeff Watson, who has 25 years with the company including most recently as president of global generics, has been appointed to the role of president and chief operating officer.
Barry Sherman and his wife Honey were found dead in their Toronto home on Dec. 15, with the cause of death determined to be “ligature neck compression.”
Police said Friday they believe Sherman and his wife were both murdered.
Sherman, who founded Apotex in 1974 and built it into a company with more than $2 billion in annual revenue, hadn’t been involved in day-to-day operations since stepping down as CEO five years ago.
The Canadian Press