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Eli Hurvitz 2017-03-21T11:40:54+00:00
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Eli Hurvitz (1932 – 2011) Israel Prize laureate, industrialist, leader, visionary and public figure

Eli Hurvitz headed Teva pharmaceuticals, leading it for approximately 35 years, initially as CEO (1976 to 2002) and then as Chairman of the Board of the Teva group (until 2010).

Hurvitz regarded strategic management as an essential condition for companies, particularly companies in the global market. Strategy for him was both the path and the compass leading to the realization of a long-term vision while assuming leadership and responsibility for the future of the company.

Early days

Hurvitz was born in Jerusalem in 1932 into a family of pioneers who moved to Tel-Aviv during his childhood. His adolescence corresponded with the Israeli War of Independence, and he joined the IDF as a “Nahal” settler soldier. He later became one of the founders of Kibbutz Tel-Katzir. In this he was inspired by the distinctive spirit that characterized many of his generation, who believed that individuals should not only care for themselves, but should also act for the common good.

These were the root values governing his worldview and from which he drew as he developed his path in the industry. Throughout the years, he believed that applying and integrating these values in the industrial sector would become his continued legacy to the prosperity and reinforcement of the country.

In 1953, having completed his studies in Economics at the Tel Aviv campus of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Hurvitz embarked on his industrial career washing instruments in a laboratory. By 1976, he was appointed CEO of pharmaceuticals company, “Assia”. As part of a long-term strategic vision, intended to create leadership in the Israeli market and a foundation for future international expansion, Hurvitz initiated the merger of the three Israeli pharmaceutical companies, Assia, Zori, and Teva into the single company of “Teva”.

Strategic Management

Hurvitz led the Teva Group to becoming the largest pharmaceutical manufacturer in Israel and a leading global company of generic medications. These achievements were made possible due to the organizational culture of excellence he imbued and by standing steadfast to the vision of a future well beyond the horizon. Hurvitz regarded strategic management as an essential condition for companies, particularly companies in the global market. Strategy for him was both the path and the compass leading to the realization of a long-term vision while assuming leadership and responsibility for the future of the company.

Contribution to Israeli society

Hurvitz’s outstanding commitment to the Israeli society led him to take on many public and social endeavors while Teva supported scientific, educational and cultural activities in Israel throughout the years.

Recognition of Hurvitz’s contribution to both the economy and society was swift to follow, and in 1981 he was appointed President of the Manufacturers Association of Israel. During his term, the Israeli economy experienced some of the most extreme economic turmoil the country had ever known.

In 1985, while serving as Chairman of Coordinating Bureau of Economic Organizations (later known as the Presidency of Business Associations), Hurvitz made a crucial contribution to the soothing of the economy and the formation of a stabilizing program, in cooperation with the Minister of Finance and the Secretary General of the Histadrut, Israel’s labor union.

His deep commitment to public service also led him to assume a lengthy list of additional public roles, including: Chairman of the Israel Export Institute (1974-1978), Chairman of the Board of Bank Leumi (1986-1987), Chairman of the Israel Task Force (1986-1989), Chairman of The Jerusalem Development Authority (1989-1992), Member of the Board at Magal Security Systems (1992-1994),  Member of the Advisory Committee of the Bank of Israel (1991-1995), Member of the Board of Governors of the Weizmann Institute of Science (1989-1995), where he also served as Chairman of the Executive Committee (since 2001) , Member of the Board of Governors at Tel Aviv University (2002-2005), Member of the International Council of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University, and Chairman of the Executive Committee of The Israel Democracy Institute (2002-2008).

In addition, during the years 2006-2007, Hurvitz headed the Brodet Committee examining the budget of the Israeli Ministry of Defense.

Appreciation

His diverse and extensive public and industrial activity awarded Hurvitz with a long list of honors from both academic and public bodies in Israel, including:

  • Honorary Doctorate from the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology in 1990
  • Honorary Doctorate from the Weizmann Institute of Science in 1994
  • Honorary Doctorate from Ben Gurion University of the Negev in 2002
  • Honorary Doctorate from Tel Aviv University in 2004
  • Honorary Doctorate from Bar Ilan University in 2010
  • An Honorary Fellowship from Ariel University Center in 2011
  • In April 2002, on Israel’s 54th Independence Day, Hurvitz was awarded the Israel Prize for Lifetime Achievement for his special contribution to the Israeli society and State.

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