News How AztraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot is navigating a vaccine...

How AztraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot is navigating a vaccine storm

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Around midnight on Tuesday, battered by the latest furor over his company’s life-saving Covid vaccine, Pascal Soriot, chief executive of AstraZeneca, sent an email to a friend.

His reputation now rests on whether his grand ambition to bring a not-for-profit Covid-19 vaccine to the world – “The biggest CSR project in history” as one company insider describes it – becomes his defining accomplishment or a symbol of over-reach that will permanently diminish his achievement in turning AZ into one of the pharma industry’s global powerhouses.

A key moment came in 2009 when he was appointed CEO of Genentech, the California-based biotechnology company which had been acquired by Swiss pharma group Roche.

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