Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ARNA), Orexigen Therapeutics, Inc. (OREX): VIVUS, Inc. (VVUS) Gets 3 CEOs in Less Than Two Months

Three different CEOs in a month and a half. Not exactly a ringing endorsement for VIVUS, Inc. (NASDAQ:VVUS) accelerating sales of its obesity drug Qsymia.

The first guy, Leland Wilson, got kicked out. Never mind that he founded the company, Samuel Colin, senior managing partner at First Manhattan, VIVUS, Inc. (NASDAQ:VVUS)’ largest shareholder, succeeded in convincing shareholders that management was the problem. Rather than letting it go to a vote, Wilson agreed to resign.

VIVUS, Inc. (NASDAQ:VVUS)

In concert with the resignation, Anthony Zook, former executive vice president for global commercial operations at AstraZeneca, took over. But less than two months later, the company announced that Zook was stepping down to deal with a previously diagnosed medical condition.

And VIVUS, Inc. (NASDAQ:VVUS) already has a new CEO, Seth Fischer, who was formerly a senior executive at Johnson & Johnson.

Haste makes waste?
It amazes me the speed at which VIVUS, Inc. (NASDAQ:VVUS) has been able to find CEOs. Are there really that many executives qualified to be CEO just sitting by the phone waiting for a job offer?

Admittedly, Colin had some time to find Zook, who agreed to take the job if the proxy vote went First Manhattan’s way. But it wasn’t like VIVUS’ entire board was involved in the decision. From the outside, it looks like Zook was forced upon the board when it was clear the old management was going to lose the proxy fight. Presumably, the new board had to sign off on the new hire, but with six of the 10 members of the board (excluding Zook) coming from First Manhattan’s slate, I doubt there was much dissension.

VIVUS didn’t say when Zook decided to step down, but it surprises me that the biotech has already found a replacement. Usually someone from the company steps in as an interim CEO for a few months while a search is done.

Given the lackluster sales of VIVUS, Inc. (NASDAQ:VVUS) obesity drug Qsymia, it’s understandable that the biotech would want to move quickly. I just hope VIVUS truly found the best candidate for the job.

Big task ahead
Fischer has an uphill battle in front of him. Despite its large size and blockbuster potential, the obesity market is a difficult place to sell drugs. Patients don’t want to pay for treatments out of pocket, and doctors are apprehensive about handing out obesity pills like candy.

VIVUS, Inc. (NASDAQ:VVUS) really needs to find a partner to help the company compete with Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ARNA)‘ Belviq, which is marketed by Japanese giant Eisai. Even Orexigen Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:OREX), which is about a year from marketing its obesity drug Contrave, already has a partner in Takeda Pharmaceuticals.

Having a partner in and of itself won’t be enough, though; it’s not like Belviq is flying off the shelves. It’s going to take time for doctors to warm up to prescribing Qsymia, Belviq, and Contrave.

Hopefully, Fischer sticks around long enough to see that day.

The article VIVUS Gets 3 CEOs in Less Than 2 Months originally appeared on Fool.com and is written by Brian Orelli.

Fool contributor Brian Orelli has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Johnson & Johnson.

Copyright © 1995 – 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Biotech Insider Alert - $6 Stock To Hit $40

$200 Million Dollar Healthcare Hedge Fund's #1 Best Idea Right Now

The best healthcare hedge fund out there right now is one of the largest shareholders in this biotech stock. The fund returned more than 20% in each of the last 2 years with a virtually fully hedged portfolio, and it's sending out a BUY signal on this biotech stock. Get your FREE REPORT today (retail value of $300)

This is a FREE report from Insider Monkey. Credit Card is NOT required.
Comments
Insider Monkey Small Cap Strategy
Insider Monkey Small Cap Strategy

Insider Monkey beat the market by 52 percentage points in 24 months. Our beta is only 1.2 (don't click this link if beating the market isn't important to you).

Lists

The Oldest Money Managers

The Greatest Directors in the World

Largest Animals in the World

World’s Most Expensive Desserts

Best Selling Comic Books of All Time

A-list Actors who Sabotaged Their Career

Rappers With a College Degree

The Best Jazz Albums of all Time

The Most Influential Jazz Musicians

The World’s Most Famous Photographers

The Best Oscar-Winning Songs

Most Influential Choreographers Ever

Most Expensive Department Stores in the World

The Most Expensive Stolen Paintings in the World

The World’s Most Expensive Teas

Top Oscar Record Holders

The Most Expensive Flowers in the World

Countries With a Booming Film Industry

Most Expensive Cupcakes in the World

Uncommon European Escapes

The Most Stolen Artists in History

Best Travel Destinations in Australia

World’s Most Expensive Musical Instruments

World’s Most Famous Animals

Most Expensive Cakes in the World

Most Expensive Kosher Champagne in the World

Most Expensive Kosher Wine in the World

The Most Surprisingly Dark Fairy Tales

Most Popular Travel Destinations in Asia

The 10 Most Expensive Dresses Ever Worn to the Oscars

World’s Most Visited Art Museums

Best Countries for Photographers to Work in

Best Paid Jobs in the Film Industry

The Most Renowned Recovered Paintings Ever

Child Stars That Turned out Just Fine

Books That Were Banned in the Past Century

World’s Richest Dancers

Best Remedies against Bad Breath

Foods That Improve Your Skin Texture

Best-Selling Children’s Books of all Time

Foods That Boost Your Libido

Best-Selling Books of all Time

The Most Expensive Academy Awards Jewelry in History

Most Expensive Japanese Restaurant In New York City

The Best B-Boy Movies

Most Awesome Hip Hop Documentaries

Foods That Stain Your Teeth

Richest Doctors in the World

The Best Movie Sountracks Ever

The Highest Grossing Musicals on Broadway

Subscribe

Enter your email:

Delivered by FeedBurner

X

Thanks! An email with instructions is sent to !

Your email already exists in our database. Click here to go to your subscriptions

Insider Monkey returned 129% in 2.5 years!! Wondering How?

Download a complete edition of our newsletter for free!