AstraZeneca PLC Preps for Upheaval; Chairman's Hunt for New CEO Begins

Published: Jun 01, 2012

AstraZeneca's new chairman took the helm on Friday and said the troubled drugmaker faced "a period of significant change". Leif Johansson's first priority is to find a permanent replacement for chief executive David Brennan, who is stepping down in an abrupt exit after six years in the job. But the more fundamental question for the company's new non-executive chairman is whether to steer AstraZeneca towards bold acquisitions or further cost cutting. Johansson, who has a track record of taking tough decisions after restructuring Swedish truckmaker Volvo, gave little away in a brief statement marking his arrival in the hot seat at Britain's second biggest drugmaker.

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