Lundbeck CEO Leaves After Failing to Report Receiving Shares

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H. Lundbeck A/S said Chief Executive Officer Ulf Wiinberg will leave his post immediately after failing to disclose receiving shares in a company in which his employer later made an investment.

Wiinberg, 55, leaves “at his own request,” the Valby, Denmark-based drugmaker said today in a statement. The shares fell as much as 8.9 percent in Copenhagen before paring losses.

The company expects a new CEO will be in place by August, Chairman Haakan Bjoerklund said on a conference call today. External and internal candidates with international experience will be considered, he said. Bjoerklund will take over operational responsibilities until the board finds a new CEO.

Wiinberg was hired for the top job at Denmark’s second-biggest pharmaceutical company in 2008 after running European operations at Wyeth, now part of Pfizer Inc. He has worked to bring new drugs to the market to make up for lost revenue as patents expire on Lundbeck’s medicines, including bestselling anti-depressant Lexapro.

Lundbeck said today that Wiinberg received 55 shares in Stratified Medical Ltd. as a gift from its founder before Lundbeck made a 19 million-krone ($3.2 million) investment in the biotechnology company. Wiinberg informed Bjoerklund of the matter in the second half of October and it’s impossible to know the value of the shares as the company wasn’t publicly traded, the chairman said. Wiinberg will receive a 19 million-krone severance payment.

“I am sincerely sorry for the course of events, which on my part was unintentional,” Wiinberg said in the statement.

Lundbeck shares fell 0.1 percent to 126.30 kroner at 12:02 p.m. in Copenhagen. Under Wiinberg’s six-year tenure, the shares have gained less than 10 percent while the Bloomberg Europe Pharmaceutical Index has more than doubled.