Astrazeneca boss Pascal Soriot will be flying back from Australia before the end of the month to prepare for disgruntled shareholders
Astrazeneca’s boss will be flying back from Australia before the end of the month to prepare for disgruntled shareholders.
Pascal Soriot, who spent much of the pandemic at his family home Down Under, angered investors and even some board members by refusing to return to the UK since Christmas.
During this time, Astra got into a dispute with the EU over the supply of Covid Jab and was subject to intense regulatory scrutiny over fears that its vaccine could cause rare blood clots.
On the way home: Pascal Soriot spent much of the pandemic in his family home Down Under
While the company has stated that Soriot is effectively managing the company from afar, critics claim that the boss would better understand the problems – and how to solve them – if he were back in the country and in the same time zone as most of the others Colleagues.
Under pressure from investors, the Mail expects the 61-year-old Soriot to prepare to return to the UK in time for Astra’s online shareholders meeting on April 30th.
Edentree Investment Management, which has a stake in Astra, said last week that Soriot’s absence “did not send the right signal or message”.
Ketan Patel, an Edentree fund manager, added, “If we were to evaluate their PR efforts, they could do better. When you look at the data and find that the chance of getting a blood clot with this vaccine is around four in a million compared to four in 10,000 with the birth control pill, that perspective needs to be highlighted.
“Perhaps it is correct to say where is the manager in relation to the formulation of health services? He hasn’t been that public and being halfway around the world doesn’t give the right signal or message. ‘
Astrazeneca declined to comment, but sources said Soriot’s plans were “still in the air”. Soriot is keen to nip any shareholder discomfort at this month’s online event as it precedes the May Annual General Meeting when investors will vote on his re-election to the Board of Directors and executive compensation.
Last year Soriot received £ 15.4m compared to £ 15.3m in 2019, including £ 13.4m in bonuses and incentives. Although shareholders will not be able to meet Soriot in person at this month’s online meeting due to the pandemic, they can ask questions about the live video call.
Flying Back: Under pressure from investors, the Mail understands that 61-year-old Soriot is preparing to return to the UK in time for Astra’s online shareholders’ meeting on April 30th
But many will feel comforted when he’s back in the country, within reach of his colleagues at Cambridge headquarters and fully focused on work.
Soriot, a French-born businessman who made his career in the pharmaceutical industry, moved his family to Australia in 1990, where he is now a citizen.
Insiders have said that Soriot has “European business hours” – even though Sydney is nine hours ahead of the UK – and his ability to communicate with his colleagues has not been affected.