Depomed Dives As Activist Investor Fight Leads To New CEO, Board Members

Depomed Inc. announced a series of changes at the top after a battle with an activist investor Tuesday, and warned that first-quarter revenue will be lower than expected, sending shares down. The pain-medication company announced that Chief Executive James Schoeneck had resigned and will be replaced by Arthur Higgins, the former CEO of Bayer Healthcare. Higgins will also take a board seat and be joined as a director by Gavin Molinelli, a partner at activist investor Starboard Value, which had agitated for a sale and new board members. "We are pleased to have reached an agreement to work with Depomed," Molinelli said in Tuesday's announcement. "We believe that Arthur Higgins is an excellent choice to lead Depomed." William McKee, the former Chief Financial Officer of Barr Pharmaceuticals, will also join the board, while Samuel Saks, David Zenoff and Schoeneck will depart. Depomed also said that first-quarter sales could be less than $100 million, projecting a range of $95 million to $100 million; analysts on average were projecting revenue of $114.6 million for the company, according to FactSet. Depomed stock fell nearly 7% in late trading after the announcement, dropping to $13.25 after closing at $14.23.

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