Pharmaniaga removes CEO after vaccine blunder, says source

THE board of financially troubled Pharmaniaga Bhd is believed to have removed its CEO Datuk Zulkarnain Md Eusope (picture) following a high level meeting yesterday.

The company is expected to make an announcement of this matter later today.

“This is believed to be connected to the vaccine blunder,” a source close to the company told The Malaysian Reserve.

In an exchange filing on Feb 27, Pharmaniaga posted a massive loss for the last three months of 2022 as the company made provisions for slow moving inventories for Covid-19 vaccines and a write down on the goodwill of an Indonesian unit.

The pharmaceutical company posted a net loss of RM644.9 million for the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2022, including RM552.3 million provision for vaccines. The largest-ever quarterly net loss led Pharmaniaga being classified as a financially distressed company under Practice Note 17 (PN17).

The impairment also led to its parent Boustead Holdings Bhd posting a net loss of RM402.3 million in the period ended Dec 31, 2022 (4Q22) compared to net profit of RM78.6 million a year earlier.

In a separate development, Boustead then received a conditional voluntary take-over offer from its largest shareholder, the Armed Forces Fund Board (LTAT) on March 2. – TMR / pic TMR File