AstraZeneca share price tumbles as report suggests CEO is leaving for Teva

  • AstraZeneca share price tumbles as report suggests CEO is leaving for Teva

AstraZeneca share price tumbles as report suggests CEO is leaving for Teva

Teva Pharmaceuticals is expected to name Pascal Soriot, who now heads AstraZeneca, as its next chief executive officer, Calcalist reports.

Soriot has met with Teva's search committee and its chairman and expressed his agreement to serve as its next CEO, Calcalist said.

"We never comment on market rumour or speculation", an AstraZeneca spokeswoman said.

Teva has been without a permanent CEO since February, when Erez Vigodman stepped down, with its chief financial also resigning last month. Mr Soriot has helmed the Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical company since 2012 and during his tenure he successfully fended off a takeover bid from Pfizer.

Teva is struggling with the expiry of the USA patent on its blockbuster multiple sclerosis drug, Copaxone, as well as an ambitious $41 billion takeover of Allergan's generics business.

Shares in the group fell 4.7% to £49.48, while the FTSE 100 edged four points higher to 7,421.

Moving to a generics drugmaker, albeit the world's largest, would be a big change in direction for French-born Soriot, 58, who had made research-based pharma his whole aim at AstraZeneca.

If the report proves true, Divan said the impact will be "net neutral, maybe net positive" for Teva.

Teva stock traded up nearly 3% and AstraZeneca stock was up 0.5% in mid-afternoon trading.

"Such a move only makes sense if Mystic is expected to disappoint", Trinity Delta analyst Mick Cooper told the newswire.

AstraZeneca has been active in Israel since 2009.