AstraZeneca scouts replacements for longtime chairman Johansson
fiercepharma | June 04, 2019
During his seven-year stint as AstraZeneca chairman, Leif Johansson weathered some ups and downs and helped fend off one major hostile takeover attempt. Now, the drugmaker is getting ready to scout for successors, Sky News reports. The company hasn't set a timetable for a transition, but its nomination and governance committee is taking a closer look, the British publication reports, citing people familiar with the matter. AstraZeneca declined to comment on the report.In England, board members are no longer considered "independent" after nine years of service. AstraZeneca could be positioning itself to keep an independent chair as Johansson nears that point.AstraZeneca officials aren’t sure whether Johansson or AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot would leave first, Sky News reports; both started their jobs back in 2012. One investor believes Johansson would depart within 18 months, allowing his successor to scout out Soriot’s replacement, Sky News reports. In an interview with Swedish business publication Di, Johansson explained the "comply or explain" rule in England. Under the rule, "nine years is a suitable time as chairman" and "if you stay longer you must give an explanation," Johansson told Di, according to a translation.