In internal memo, AstraZeneca chief Soriot reassures staffers as Teva rumors swirl

Pascal Soriot
Israeli newspaper Calcalist reported last week that Soriot had already accepted Teva's top post.

AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot may still be publicly keeping silent on last week’s report that he was bound for Teva. But internally, he’s reassured company staffers that he expects to work with them to power the company toward success.

In a memo seen by Reuters, the chief executive called the rumors “part of everyday business.”

“Together, we are poised to achieve something remarkable and that few thought possible," he wrote. "Nothing can break the momentum you have established, and certainly not rumors."

Soriot is also planning to attend September’s European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) annual meeting in Madrid, assuming AstraZeneca has data on new immuno-oncology treatment Imfinzi ready to go, a spokeswoman told the news service.

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The internal memo backs up reports from late last week that said Soriot wasn’t going anywhere. Friday afternoon, Bloomberg reported that he planned to stay put and a spokesperson confirmed to the Financial Times that Soriot would be presenting AZ’s second-quarter earnings at the end of this month, describing the situation at AZ as “business as usual.”

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The rumor mill began churning last week, when Israeli newspaper Calcalist reported that Soriot had already met with Teva’s interim chairman and search team to accept the top spot at that company. The Israeli generics giant had repeatedly pledged to investors that it would snag “the absolute best person from anywhere,” and interim CEO Yitzhak Peterburg had said the company hoped to poach an executive from a rival drugmaker.