First Manhattan Co. (“FMC”), an owner-managed and operated investment advisory firm and the owner of approximately 9.9 percent of the outstanding shares of VIVUS, Inc. (“Vivus”) (NASDAQ: VVUS), today announced that Anthony (“Tony”) Zook has agreed to serve as Vivus’ CEO if FMC’s director nominees are elected at the upcoming Vivus shareholder meeting on July 15, 2013.
Mr. Zook is a world-class executive who has held multiple senior leadership positions at some of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies, most recently as the Executive Vice President for Global Commercial Operations at AstraZeneca, a position he held until February 2013. At AstraZeneca, Mr. Zook played leadership roles, both in the US and globally, in the market delivery of several blockbuster products, each with sales in excess of $1 billion, including Nexium, Crestor, Pulmicort Respules, Seroquel, Toprol XL and Symbicort. He also helped manage the commercial integration of Astra and Zeneca to help create AstraZeneca, and served as President of MedImmune, AstraZeneca’s largest biotech acquisition, from November 2008 to December 2009.
As Executive Vice President of Global Commercial Operations at AstraZeneca, Mr. Zook was responsible for commercial activities worldwide that led to the delivery of a $28 billion dollar business, and was responsible for approximately 28,000 people with operations in more than 85 countries. Among other accomplishments, Mr. Zook led AstraZeneca’s commercialization team on all partnering activities with Bristol Myers Squibb for Onglyza and Forxiga, oral Type 2 diabetes agents that are highly relevant to a market directly adjacent to the obesity market.
Prior to serving as EVP of Global Commercial Operations, Mr. Zook held a series of increasingly senior positions at AstraZeneca, including President of its U.S. business, Executive Vice President of Global Marketing, Executive Vice President and CEO of North America, and President of MedImmune.
“Vivus presents an exciting challenge and enormous opportunity,” said Tony Zook. “I was attracted to Vivus because Qsymia has the potential to improve the quality of life for millions of people. While there is still much work to be done to commercialize Qsymia, I am confident that I can work closely with the talented employees of Vivus and the independent board to bring an exciting medicine to people who can benefit from it and put Vivus on a trajectory of growth and value creation.”