MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Sept. 3, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- VIVUS, Inc. (Nasdaq:VVUS) today announced that Anthony P. Zook has resigned as Chief Executive Officer and from the VIVUS Board of Directors, effective September 3, 2013, due to recurring issues associated with a previously-diagnosed medical condition. After consultations with his physician, Mr. Zook determined that he must focus attention on a resolution of this condition. The VIVUS Board of Directors has appointed Seth H. Z. Fischer, a former senior executive at Johnson & Johnson, to serve as its Chief Executive Officer, effective today. Mr. Fischer will also join the VIVUS Board of Directors. "VIVUS is keeping Tony in its thoughts and we wish him a rapid recovery. We are grateful for his contributions and his willingness to work with Seth through mid-September 2013 to assist with the transition," stated Michael Astrue, chairman of VIVUS. "We are pleased to welcome Seth Fischer to VIVUS and look forward to his leadership as we continue to execute on our four goals: 1) expand use of Qsymia through targeted patient and physician education; 2) find the right partner for Qsymia; 3) quickly create a pathway for approval in Europe; and 4) eliminate expenses that are not essential to expanding use of Qsymia." Mr. Zook said, "I believe strongly in the potential of Qsymia, the VIVUS organization and the future direction of the company. This has been a difficult decision. Unfortunately, I cannot devote the necessary time and focus to the company, but instead must concentrate on personal health issues." "We wish Tony the best as he faces his health challenges," Mr. Fischer said. "Helping VIVUS realize its potential and achieve its stated goals represents an exciting opportunity, and I look forward to working with this unique organization. Obesity has reached epidemic proportions in America and other parts of the world. Qsymia offers a new solution for patients and their healthcare providers in addressing this devastating condition. We will continue our mission to unlock the full value of the Qsymia franchise."