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Former Mylan CEO Robert Coury will transition from current Viatris post to advisory role

MORGANTOWN — Former Mylan CEO and Executive Chair Robert Coury will transition from his current role at Mylan’s successor, Viatris, to a advisory position at the end of this year.

Viatris announced Monday morning that Coury will move from executive chairman to chairman emeritus and senior strategic advisor to the board and management following the company’s 2023 annual shareholder meeting, tentatively set for mid-December of this year.

Coury will not be standing for reelection at that meeting.

“Given his longstanding and critical connection to, as well as direct oversight of, many of Viatris’ significant ongoing business matters and strategic development opportunities, Coury will continue to serve the company in this new non-employee, strategic advisor capacity until the end of 2025 when the term of his contract would have otherwise expired. This will not only ensure a smooth transition but also help limit potential business or strategic disruptions,” the company announced in a statement.

Viatris spelled out additional details in a separate SEC filing. Coury will be treated as separating from employment for Good Reason for severance benefit purposes. The company will also honor the existing compensation rights for 2024 and 2025 through an annual consulting fee of $15 million, paid in monthly installments.

“The board believes and anticipates that the value of the compensation is commensurate with the value and benefits to be received by the company from Mr. Coury’s advisory services,” the filing says.

The board will select a new independent chair who will be announced in the coming months and whose tenure is intended to begin following the 2023 annual meeting.

In advance of any questions about the move, the filing says, “Mr. Coury’s transition as described herein is in no way the result of any disagreement between Mr. Coury and the company on any matter relating to the company’s operations, policies, or practices. The board, Mr. Coury and Mr. [Scott] Smith, the company’s recently appointed chief executive officer, are committed to continuing to collaborate on the execution of the company’s strategic plans.”

In December 2022, Viatris shareholders approved Coury’s executive compensation in a “Say-on-Pay” vote based on his 2021 pay. Coury’s 2021 total was $1.8 million base salary, $2.7 million annual incentives, $10.8 million long-term incentives, for a total of $15.3 million.

Viatris’ announcement and SEC filing both note Coury’s key role in creating Viatris — a merger with Pfizer subsidiary Upjohn in November 2020. “Mr. Coury has led the company’s strategy on highly complex matters and other strategic initiatives including significant mergers and acquisitions, among other matters.”

Coury commented, “Given the success and stability of Viatris to date and the sustainable future I see ahead for the company as we near the completion of our Phase 1 long-term strategic plan, I am very pleased to be in a position to plan a clear and orderly transition for the company. This will provide an opportunity for its leaders to further progress and grow, while I also remain available to continue to advise the board and management on ongoing matters and help ensure the success of the company’s long-term goals.

“With Viatris’ powerful foundation now securely in place,” Coury said, “with Scott A. Smith at the helm as our new CEO, and with the clear and defined path that we established for growth going forward, I have never been more confident in the future of our company, our employees and all of our stakeholders than I am today.”

Viatris Lead Independent Director Mark Parrish commented, “In an industry that is incredibly fast-paced and ever evolving, the board is unanimous in its belief that Robert’s trademark combination of vision, passion and long-term strategic thinking has positioned Viatris as one of the strongest companies within our industry segment and further sets the stage for the sustainable future we see for the company, as we continue to grow and move up the pharmaceutical value chain.”

In related news, Viatris also announced that on May 19, the board appointed Leo Groothuis as an independent member of the board, effective immediately. His term of office will expire at the 2023 annual meeting.

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