AstraZeneca CEO suggests he’s the ‘lowest paid CEO in the whole industry’ as he raises concerns surrounding Brexit

pharmafile | September 25, 2018 | News story | Business Services, Research and Development  

Pascal Soriot, the Chief Executive Officer of the Anglo-Swedish multinational AstraZeneca, has raised concerns that he is being underpaid, despite earning nearly £10 million each year.

The pharma chief, who was paid £9.4 million in salary and bonuses in 2017, said in an interview with The Times that “The truth is I’m the lowest-paid CEO in the whole industry.”

He continued in saying that “It is annoying to some extent. But at the end of the day it is what it is.”

However in taking a philosophical approach the 59 year old former vet suggested that: “There’s other things in life than money. I’m not going to complain, but me and Emma [Walmsley, CEO of GlaxoSmithKline] are the lowest paid in Europe and the US.”

In comparison Pfizer CEO Ian Read brought in $27.9 million in 2018 while J&J head Alex Gorsky was paid $29.8 million in the same year.

Nevertheless, the complaint has come as politicians from around the world including President Donald Trump and British Health Secretary Matt Hancock have condemned price hiking pharma firms for their double digit price increases on life saving medicines.

However along with concerns about his paycheck the pharma exec voiced his anxieties surrounding Brexit as he suggested that “it’s going to be really painful.” He continued in adding that, “I hope more and more people get worried.”

Significantly the French CEO pointed to a no-deal Brexit as particularly concerning as he suggested that due to the complexity of the supply chain, there could still be widespread shortages across Europe in the case of a hard exit from the European Union.

Soriot commented: “We have products that go back and forth between the UK and Europe at different stages of manufacturing. If drugs are stuck, you have a problem.”

Louis Goss

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