More and more Korean CEOs at multinational pharmaceutical firms in Korea are being forced to leave the company or receiving disciplinary measures from the headquarters for various reasons.
CEO Hak-sun Moon at Novartis Korea which received search and seizure from the prosecution for suspicion of rebate provision this February was confirmed to be placed on the waiting list early in the last month. Prosecutors initiated a criminal investigation into allegations that Novartis Korea utilized “M medical journal” and academic symposiums to provide inappropriate economic benefits, known in the industry as "rebates," to some health-care professionals, including professors and doctors, under the pretext of contribution fees and traffic expenses in order to boost sales. Klaus Reeve, an acting CEO sent by the Novartis headquarters, has been replacing former CEO Moon, who is currently on the waiting list, and leading Novartis Korea from April 7.
Recently, Mundipharma Korea CEO Lee Jong-ho also handed in his resignation. Since there is no specific reasons known for his resignation, there are various speculations in the market. After taking office as CEO of Mundipharma Korea in 2010, Lee led the company to post double digit growth every year and sometimes 30 percent growth from the previous year. Currently, Raman Singh, chairman at emerging markets of Mundipharma, is managing Mundipharma Korea.
Lee Choon-yup, the first president CEO of Takeda Pharmaceuticals Korea, was also forced to leave the company “ignominiously” in October last year. Lee had served as the first head and led the company’s sales growth in the domestic market since the launching of Takeda Pharmaceuticals Korea.
An official from the pharmaceutical industry said, “Multinational pharmaceutical companies are increasingly understanding better Korean corporate culture and industry which hold a matter in school ties and regionalism as well as communication with the government. Accordingly, we can see more Korean CEOs at the businesses, but they have to take on more responsibilities.”