AstraZeneca CEO’s reported exit remains a mystery

July 17, 2017

The mystery surrounding the intentions of the chief executive of AstraZeneca PLC, one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical firms, remains…a mystery.

Two days after an Israeli news report said Chief Executive Pascal Soriot had agreed to take the top job at a rival drug giant, Israel-based Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., AstraZeneca continues to say it won’t comment, labeling that report — and more recent reports that he is staying on — as market rumors and speculation.

A spokesman late Friday said Dr. Soriot would host the presentation of the company’s midyear financial results, expected later this month. But the spokesman declined to say whether that indicated Dr. Soriot was sticking around for the longer term.

A spokesman for Teva said it also wouldn’t comment on market rumors.

Shares of AstraZeneca fell sharply Thursday, after an Israeli news site, Calcalist, reported the day before that Dr. Soriot had agreed to take the top job at Teva. They ended London trading down more than 3%. Despite the steep stock market drop, AstraZeneca has repeatedly stopped short of denying the report.

On Friday, shares finished lower for the second day running, falling another 0.29%, amid the uncertainty.

By Chip Cummins

Source: Market Watch