AstraZeneca CEO reportedly not bolting to Teva yet

Anglo-Swedish pharma behemoth says Pascal Soriot, rumored to be headed to Israel, will present company’s 2Q earnings as usual on July 27, according to report

Shoshanna Solomon is The Times of Israel's Startups and Business reporter

AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot outside the British Parliament May 13, 2014.  (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot outside the British Parliament May 13, 2014. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

Pascal Soriot, the chief executive of AstraZeneca will remain in his post at the Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical multinational, quenching talk of his leaving to become head of Israel’s Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., foreign press reports said over the weekend.

Teva shares were down 3.1 percent at 10:40am in Tel Aviv after rallying on the report of a new CEO pick last week. A spokesman for Teva in Tel Aviv declined to comment.

The rumors about Soriot’s appointment to Teva began last week after Israeli financial website Calcalist said July 12 that Teva, the world’s largest generics pharma company, is expected to name AstraZeneca’s Soriot as its next CEO. The shares of AstraZeneca tumbled on the news, but have picked up again following the press reports over the weekend that he was staying put.

Teva is likely to announce the name of its new chief executive officer in “another month or so,” Chaim Hurvitz, a member of Teva’s founding family, the largest private shareholder, said in an interview with the Times of Israel in a story published July 9.

AstraZeneca confirmed on Friday that Soriot would be presenting the company’s second-quarter earnings as usual on July 27, and company insiders said that business was continuing as usual at the UK-based pharmaceutical company, The Financial Times reported on July 15.

Citigroup analysts on Friday said the news that Soriot was staying on at his current job was “a disappointing turn of events for Teva, and will likely increase the difficulty in recruiting a new CEO,” the Financial Times reported.

Teva has been on the hunt for a new CEO ever since Erez Vigodman said in February he would step down, three years after taking the post in an effort to turn around the fortunes of the drugmaker. Yitzhak Peterburg was appointed interim president and CEO and has been at the helm of the firm since.

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