It’s been a long three days for Teva and AstraZeneca, both of which have faced myriad questions and significant stock moves since a midweek report that AZ chief exec Pascal Soriot had signed on as the new CEO of Teva.
Friday, though, Bloomberg’s U.S. Health Team Leader, Drew Armstrong, tweeted out that Soriot had different plans.
Scoop by our friends across the ocean: ASTRA CEO SORIOT SAID TO PLAN ON STAYING AT THE U.K. DRUGMAKER $AZN— Drew Armstrong (@ArmstrongDrew) July 14, 2017
Contrats to Pascal Soriot on not becoming the next CEO to get kicked out of Teva.— Drew Armstrong (@ArmstrongDrew) July 14, 2017
In response to requests for comment, both drugmakers said they wouldn't comment on market rumors, echoing their statements from Wednesday, the day Israeli newspaper Calcalist first reported Soriot's planned departure.
But the Financial Times said an AZ spokesperson had confirmed that Soriot would be presenting the British pharma's second-quarter earnings at the end of the month, adding that sources described the situation at the company as "business as usual."
Shareholders had plenty of their own thoughts on the plot twist, judging by Friday afternoon's stock movement. AstraZeneca's shares, which had plunged on the news of Soriot's potential departure, were up 3.7% at 3:15 p.m., while Teva's had sunk by 3.6%.
Calcalist reported Wednesday that Soriot had already met with Teva's search committee and chairman—who had previously told investors they were looking to poach an industry vet to fill the role—to accept the offer. He was reportedly set to net nearly double the $5.7 million salary previous Teva helmsman Erez Vigodman made and take home a signing bonus of between $15 million and $20 million, too.
While the jump would have fulfilled Teva's goal of bringing in a seasoned pharma executive to right the company's course, industry watchers have been worrying this week about what it could mean for Teva.
Soriot's "exit would leave AstraZeneca rudderless in the wake of several other recent departures," Leerink Partners analyst Seamus Fernandez wrote in a note to clients.