Edwards promised his family earlier this year that he’d retire, before a hostile takeover by Valeant Pharmaceuticals (NYSE:VRX, TSE:VRX) and William Ackman’s Pershing Square Capital Management hedge fund surfaced. Despite the takeover battle, Edwards is standing by his family promise, although he’s be on tap as a non-executive officer to help smooth the transition, according to a press release.
"Jeff’s strong work ethic and complete dedication have defined his tenure, and his many contributions across several roles have helped build Allergan into the successful company it is today. After devoting so much time and energy to Allergan, Jeff informed me in February 2014 of his desire to commit more time to his family, and that he was therefore considering stepping down from the chief financial officer position at a later point in 2014," chairman & CEO David Pyott said in prepared remarks. "Jeff’s decision reflects his strong values, and we support him and are glad that we are able to make this transition in accordance with his wishes. On behalf of the board of directors and management team, I would like to thank Jeff for his service, and all of us at Allergan extend to him and his family our very best regards as they start a new chapter in their lives."
"The decision to step down was remarkably challenging, but I must remain true to the commitment I made to my family in early 2014," Edwards added. "I have deeply appreciated the opportunity to serve as Allergan’s chief financial officer, and while in the position, fully committed myself to the role and to my team, all of our employees, stockholders and business partners."
Sterne Agee analyst Shibani Malhotra, writing today in a note to investors, said the CFO shift shouldn’t affect the company’s prospects even with the Valeant/Pershing bid hanging over Allergan’s head.
"While it may be difficult for some investors to understand why a CFO would step down during a hostile takeover battle, we came away from our call assured that there is nothing more to the situation than that Edwards had made a personal commitment earlier this year, and is now choosing to stand by that commitment. We respect his decision to do so especially given that there is never a good time for a CFO to step down," Malhotra wrote. "We have worked closely with Jim Hindman in his previous role as Allergan’s senior vice president treasury, risk and investor relations and while we will miss our interactions with Jeff Edwards, we expect a smooth transition and believe Hindman is an excellent choice for the CFO role."
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