Neimeth CEO, Gerald Oputa, resigns after poor financial performance, N263.05m loss


Following a poor financial performance during his tenure, the Acting Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals, Gerald Oputa, has resigned.

Oputa was promoted from his previous position of Executive Director, Sales & Marketing, to acting Managing Director/CEO in March 2023 when Mathew Obi Azoji retired and went on a three-month terminal leave.

Oputa resigned from the company a year after joining Neimeth as the Executive Director, Sales & Marketing.

He joined Neimeth in April 2022.

His resignation was disclosed on Thursday in a statement released to the Nigerian Exchange Limited.

Prior to his resignation, Neimeth’s financial performance was disappointing to shareholders, as the company’s revenue dropped 31.08 per cent year-on-year under Oputa.

The management failed to replicate the second quarter 2022 revenue of N708.96 million, after generating N488.62 billion between April and June 2023.

While revenue depreciated by 31.08 per cent, the company’s expenses skyrocketed by 83.7 per cent from N427.11 million spent on costs of sales and others in the Q2 2022 period to N784.91 million.

As Oputa and the management failed to curb rising expenses, Neimeth recorded N263.05 million losses between April and June 2023, failing to achieve the N307.43 million profits after tax posted in Q2 last year.

Oputa’s resignation will take effect on Saturday, October 2, 2023; however, Neimeth has replaced him with Valentine Chinedu Okelu on Wednesday, August 16, 2023.

Okelu, whose appointment will be ratified at the next annual general meeting, previously worked for Neimeth’s market rival, Glaxosmithkline Nigeria.

“Okelu began his professional career as a Medical Sales Representative at Rhone Poulenc Rorer/May & Baker Plc before going on to become a Market Development Executive and later Market Development Manager in the same organization. He served as Product Manager — Cardiovascular in Aventis/May & Baker Plc.

“Pharm. Okelu went from Head, Demand Creation (Pharma) at May & Baker Nigeria Plc. in 2006 to Assistant General Manager/Head, Corporate Planning & Development in 2008, before becoming General Manager/Head, Pharma Sales & Marketing in 2009. He went on to rise to Executive Director, Foods Division, a position he occupied from 2011 to March 2018 before taking on the role of Executive Director, Corporate Planning & Strategy later in 2018. He became Executive Director, Pharma Sales & Marketing in 2021, a role he held until 2023 when he left May & Baker Plc. to join Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals Plc,” a statement released by the firm on Thursday disclosed.