AstraZeneca PLC (AZN) Grabs Roche (RHHBY) Pharma Head as New CEO  
8/28/2012 6:29:11 AM

AstraZeneca Plc has poached Pascal Soriot from rival Roche Holding AG to be its new chief executive, hoping his experience with biotech drugs and dealmaking can revive a company battered by clinical trial failures and patent expiries. Soriot, a 53-year-old French national, has been chief operating officer since 2010 of Roche's pharmaceuticals division - a business with a turnover of $34 billion, making it the same size as AstraZeneca. He will take up his new job on October 1, AstraZeneca said on Tuesday. Chairman Leif Johansson told Reuters this would allow him to take part in an important strategy review, which will be completed by the middle or end of the fourth quarter but will not change the group's progressive dividend policy.