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Leadership transition upcoming at AstraZeneca
May 16th, 2012
LONDON – Next month, AstraZeneca will have new faces in the posts of chief executive officer and chairman.
Starting June 1, executive director and chief financial officer Simon Lowth takes over as interim CEO until a permanent successor is found for David Brennan, who is retiring after serving as CEO since January 2006.
Julie Brown, vice president of group finance, will become interim CFO on that date, AstraZeneca said. Brennan is scheduled to retire from AstraZeneca and relinquish his board responsibilities on June 1.
In addition, Leif Johansson will succeed Louis Schweitzer as nonexecutive chairman on June 1 — three months earlier than previously announced. Johansson was named chairman of the nomination and governance committee after the company's annual general meeting in late April.
AstraZeneca noted that the move will enable Johansson to lead the search for Brennan's successor, an effort that will look at internal and external candidates.
Brennan commented, "After more than six years as chief executive officer of this great company, I have decided that now is the right time to step down and allow a new leader to take the reins. The board's decision to appoint Simon Lowth as interim chief executive officer has my full support, and I am confident that AstraZeneca will continue to have a positive impact on the lives of patients around the world."