AstraZeneca has announced Pascal Soriot’s appointment as the company’s chief executive officer. He will assume the new role and join the AstraZeneca board as an executive director as of Oct. 1.
Simon Lowth will remain AstraZeneca’s interim CEO until Soriot’s arrival. At that point, Lowth will resume his responsibilities as chief financial officer and continue to serve as an executive director on the AstraZeneca board.
A French national, 53-year-old Soriot joins AstraZeneca from Roche, where he has been chief operating officer of the company’s pharmaceuticals division since 2010. In this role he has global responsibility for development, manufacturing, commercial operations and administration for a pharmaceuticals business with 2011 sales of $34 billion and approximately 44,000 employees worldwide. Previously, Soriot was CEO of Genentech, where he was credited with leading the successful merger between the San Francisco-based biologics business and Roche. He entered the pharmaceutical industry in 1986 and has worked in senior management roles in the U.S., Asia and Europe.
“I am excited and honored to have been asked to lead AstraZeneca,” said Soriot. “Throughout my career I have had enormous respect for the people of AstraZeneca and what they have achieved. Noone 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.”
Leif Johansson, chairman of AstraZeneca, said, “This is a key appointment at an important time for AstraZeneca, and we are certain that Pascal’s leadership qualities combined with his strategic thinking and relevant experience make him the right person to drive the company to success over the coming years.”