One of AstraZeneca’s most senior bosses defends chief executive’s decision to run British pharma giant from Australia as it rolls out Covid jab
One of AstraZeneca’s most senior bosses has defended his chief executive’s decision to run the British pharmaceuticals giant from Australia as it rolls out its Covid vaccine.
Pascal Soriot has faced criticism for working from his family home Down Under amid concerns about the Astra jab’s links to blood clots.
Under pressure: Pascal Soriot has faced criticism for working from his family home Down Under amid concerns about the Astra jab’s links to blood clots
Ketan Patel – a fund manager at EdenTree, which has a stake in Cambridge-headquartered Astra – said ‘being halfway around the world doesn’t give the right signal’.
But finance chief Marc Dunoyer hit back, telling The Mail on Sunday: ‘I see [Soriot] many times a day at different times of the day [on video calls]. He’s in absolutely close contact.
‘It’s a fallacy to think that the business is run from any one place. When you’re a global company like we are, we have people who are in many different parts of the world, different time zones.’
Dunoyer is charged with overseeing the £28billion takeover of US peer Alexion. The deal, announced in December, is due to complete between July and September.
Astra’s shares fell after the announcement but have rallied in recent weeks. ‘It’s because the probability of implementing [the deal] is now so high,’ said Dunoyer.
Alexion specialises in rare diseases and Astra hopes to grow the American firm’s presence in Asia.
Dunoyer said the tie-up could allow Alexion and Astra scientists to use research into rare diseases – defined as affecting fewer than one in 2,000 people – as a platform to create treatments for more common problems such as chronic kidney disease and congestive heart failure.