Assertio CEO Todd Smith leaves

  • Push-out Score determined
  • After less than one year in the position
  • Praise, thanks and good wishes for Smith
  • Dan Peisert taking over

(exechange) — Lake Forest, Illinois, December 15, 2020 — Todd Smith, chief executive of Assertio, leaves. As announced by Assertio Holdings Inc. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Tuesday, December 15, 2020, Todd N. Smith has left his post as chief executive officer of the commercial pharmaceutical company after less than one year in the role, effective December 14, 2020.

Todd Smith’s duties as CEO will be taken over by Daniel A. (Dan) Peisert, most recently Chief Financial Officer of Assertio Holdings Inc.

Todd Smith’s move forms part of a management shake-up also involving the position of Chief Operating Officer.

“In support of our significantly reduced headcount infrastructure”

The management change is explained as follows. Arthur Higgins, Chairman of Assertio, said: “We want to thank Todd Smith, who has shown himself to be a talented executive and commercial leader, who has decided to resign as our President and Chief Executive Officer and from our Board at the end of the year in support of our significantly reduced headcount infrastructure.”

Precise information regarding Todd Smith’s future plans was not immediately available.


Assertio said: “Effective as of December 14, 2020, Todd N. Smith, President and Chief Executive Officer and a director of Assertio Holdings, Inc. (the “Company”) voluntarily resigned as President and Chief Executive Officer and as a director of the Company.”

“Does not arise from any disagreement”

“Mr. Smith’s decision to resign as a director does not arise from any disagreement with the Company on any matter relating to the Company’s operations, policies or practices,” Assertio said.

Share price decline since May 2020

The announcement follows a decline in Assertio Holdings Inc.’s share price of 48% since May 2020. May 2020 is the month in which Smith’s tenure as CEO began.

Chaired by Arthur Higgins

Arthur Higgins serves as Assertio Holdings Inc.’s Non-Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors.

Higgins became chairman of the board of directors upon the close of the merger with Zyla Life Sciences in May 2020. He previously served as president and chief executive officer (CEO) and director starting in March 2017.

In the position of CEO since 2020

Todd Smith became CEO of the Company in 2020.

Smith joined Assertio as president, chief executive officer (CEO) and director in May 2020.

He previously served as president, CEO and a member of the board of directors of Zyla Life Sciences from October 2019 through the merger with Assertio.

With more than 25 years of pharmaceutical, medical device and biotechnology leadership, he has a long track record of building companies and achieving commercial and business development excellence while maintaining a focus on patient access to differentiated products.

Before joining Zyla, from 2017 through February 2019, Smith, served as CEO and a director of Iroko Pharmaceuticals Inc., a privately-owned pharmaceutical company, from which the Company purchased five products in early 2019.

During the period October 2014 through June 2015, Smith served as the chief commercial officer of Ophthotech Corporation, a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing novel therapeutics to treat ophthalmic diseases.

In addition, he has held a variety of senior commercial and marketing roles at organizations including Horizon Therapeutics plc, a public biopharmaceutical company focused on rare and rheumatic diseases, and Abbott, a public healthcare products company.

Smith serves as a director for BVI, a TPG Ophthalmology company and for Vault Nano, a UCLA Biotech in Immuno-Oncology and Virology.

Smith received his bachelor’s degree from Norwich University.

Push-out Score determined

The Push-out Score™ determined by exechange gauges the pressure surrounding the management change on a scale of 0 to 10.

exechange reached out to Assertio and offered the company the opportunity to comment on the score.

Read the full story in the exechange report 51.2020 ($).