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Frenchman to take over as AstraZeneca CEO

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Frenchman to take over as AstraZeneca CEO
09:37 CEST+02:00
Anglo-Swedish drugs giant AstraZeneca on Tuesday named Frenchman Pascal Soriot, the current boss of Roche's pharmaceuticals division, as its new chief executive.

"AstraZeneca today announced that Pascal Soriot has been appointed as the company's chief executive officer," the London-listed company said in a statement.

"Pascal Soriot will take on his new responsibilities and join the AstraZeneca PLC board as an executive director on 1 October 2012."

Soriot, 53, will replace American David Brennan, who stepped down in June amid slumping profits and fierce competition from generic drugmakers.

"I am excited and honoured to have been asked to lead AstraZeneca," said Soriot, who has been chief operating officer of Roche's drugs division since 2010 and joined the pharmaceuticals industry in 1986.

He added: "No-one is blind to the challenges that confront the pharmaceutical sector and this company, but the underlying strengths of AstraZeneca in delivering on its strategy are clear.

"AstraZeneca will continue to make a positive difference to patients over the longer term and I'm looking forward to playing my part in shaping that future."

Chief financial officer Simon Lowth had served as interim chief executive

following Brennan's resignation.

Astra Zeneca in May slashed their work force in Södertälje, south of Stockholm, by 400 members of staff, as part of a major cutback of 1,100 jobs that the company had announced in February.

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