Valeant CEO Pearson leaving the company

Valeant Pharmaceuticals announced on Monday that CEO Mike Pearson is leaving the company, but will stay until his successor is found.

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Stock trading was halted on the news.

Valeant also announced that activist investor Bill Ackman will join its board of directors.

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“It’s been a privilege to lead Valeant for the past eight years. While I regret the controversies that have adversely impacted our business over the past several months, I know that Valeant is a strong and resilient company, and I am committed to doing everything I can to ensure a smooth transition to new leadership,” Pearson said in a statement.

Valeant initially requested former CFO Howard Schiller to step down, but Schiller “has not done so,” according to the company’s statement. Katharine Stevenson volunteered to resign instead to create the vacancy for Ackman.

“I am looking forward to working with the board to identify new leadership for Valeant,” said Ackman in a statement “On behalf of all shareholders, we are extremely appreciative of Valeant employees’ hard work and commitment during this challenging time for the company.”

A spokesman for Pershing Square did not provide comments to CNBC regarding the Valeant news.

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