Plan B Pill Maker Replaces CEO After 25 Years

  • Richter names Gabor Orban CEO to focus on product portfolio
  • Outgoing CEO Erik Bogsch to remain chairman of the board

Gedeon Richter Nyrt., the largest maker of contraceptives in Europe, appointed Gabor Orban as Chief Executive Officer, ending Erik Bogsch’s 25-year term at the helm of the company.

Orban, a former fund manager and government official who’s served as Bogsch’s deputy since 2016 and isn’t related to Hungary’s prime minister, will assume the role as of Nov. 1, according to a company statement published on the Budapest Stock Exchange’s website. Bogsch asked to be relieved of his duties as chief executive and will remain Chairman of the Board of Directors overseeing commercial, international and government relations, according to the statement.

Assuming leadership at the end of the Cold War in 1992, Bogsch, who turns 70 this month, oversaw the transformation and global expansion of the former state-owned drugmaker founded in 1901 and nationalized by Hungary’s communist government in 1948. The Budapest-based producer of the Plan B morning-after contraceptive pill now has operations in 40 countries and is looking to increase market share in the gynecological market. Richter also got a recent revenue boost from a blockbuster anti-psychotic marketed together with Allergan Plc.

"The company’s main challenge is to balance a decline in sales and achieve a sustainable growth path with an innovative product portfolio," Richter said in the statement. To achieve this, the company needs to make its existing supply chains more efficient to traditional markets, while continuing building the specialty pharmaceuticals business in Western European and overseas markets, it said.

Read More: Bogsch on Richter’s challenges in a January interview

Richter shares have gained 7.4 percent this year, compared with an 18 percent advance by Hungary’s benchmark BUX stock index. Their performance lagged fellow Budapest blue chips OTP Bank Nyrt., which has jumped 19.9 percent, and refiner Mol Nyrt., which has risen 16.7 percent.

— With assistance by Andras Gergely

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