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Valeant Pharmaceuticals taps former CFO as interim chief

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International (VRX) on Wednesday said former Chief Financial Officer Howard Schiller will run the Canadian company, with CEO Michael Pearson is still in the hospital undergoing treatment for severe pneumonia.

Schiller is interim CEO, effective immediately, while Bob Ingram will become interim chairman, also filling in for Pearson, Valeant said in a statement. Pearson is on medical leave, and "the timing of his expected return is uncertain," the company said. The company disclosed the 56-year-old executive's illness Dec. 28.

Schiller was Valeant's CFO from late 2011 to June of last year, stepping down from the role before the company encountered troubles with regulators and short-sellers. He joined Valeant after retiring from investment banking firm Goldman Sachs, where he spent 24 years.

Valeant's difficulties include its relationship with Philidor RX Services, the specialty pharmacy that helped it distribute its products through a network of pharmacies. Philidor in October said it was closing shop.

Shares of Valeant on Wednesday opened more than 3 percent lower.

The company last month cut its financial outlook for the fourth quarter and full year, while issuing a guarded outlook for 2016.

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