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AstraZeneca PLC (AZN) CFO Jumps Ship to BG Group


7/15/2013 8:12:53 AM

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Simon Lowth is to quit as chief financial officer at AstraZeneca and return to his energy roots in the same role at BG Group after being passed over for the top job at the drugmaker. Lowth, who will be 52 in August, is leaving one company faced with a turbulent financial future for another. BG's challenge is to recover from last year's announcement that it would miss output targets and the abandonment in February of longer-term production goals. Investors are also fretting about its exposure to strife-torn Egypt, home to a fifth of the company's production on which cash flow for costly future projects depends. AstraZeneca also faces difficulties. Chief executive Pascal Soriot told Reuters in June that turning around the drugmaker would be a long haul as it battles falling sales due to patents expiring. Lowth cut his managerial teeth at the privatized utility Scottish Power between 2003 and 2007, where he rose through the ranks to become finance director, before he moved to AstraZeneca as chief financial officer.

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