Is AstraZeneca looking for the ideal candidate to replace Pascal Soriot?
You can expect to hear plenty of new rumors about Pascal Soriot’s impending departure from AstraZeneca’s helm — whether they’re true or not.
A year after Soriot rather slowly refuted a host of press reports that he was considering a jump to the helm at Teva, The Sunday Times reported over the weekend that AstraZeneca has begun succession planning following shareholder pressure as the pharma giant works to achieve a turnaround. They’ll also reportedly be looking for someone to succeed chief financial officer Marc Dunoyer as well.
Mene Pangalos and Ruud Dobber appear to be in the running for the top job, adds The Sunday Times, which isn’t saying where it got its info.
Dobber heads the commercial team in North America for AstraZeneca, while Pangalos is one of its top scientists in charge of R&D. Their R&D group is in the world’s top 15 organizations, making it a big player in the industry.
AstraZeneca marked a major shift just days ago with a return to sales growth after years of declining numbers. Revenue was still down in Q3, but AstraZeneca has enjoyed the marked growth of income from important new cancer drugs — led by Tagrisso, Lynparza and Imfinzi — as well as success in expanding its market in China. Through it all, the company has had to contend with plenty of failures, highlighted by a flop for its big checkpoint combo of Imfinzi and tremelimumab, a home-grown CTLA-4.
Succession planning isn’t a short term affair, of course. But it doesn’t run forever, either.
Image: Pascal Soriot. AP IMAGES