AstraZeneca share price: Chief medical officer to leave in organisational shake-up

on Jan 15, 2019
Updated: Mar 11, 2020

AstraZeneca’s (LON:AZN) chief medical officer Sean Bohen is set to leave after less than four years at the company, Bloomberg has reported. The news comes after the Anglo-Swedish drugmaker announced an organisational shake-up last week as part of its focus on a limited number of therapy areas to propel growth.

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AstraZeneca’s share price has been little changed in London this morning, and as at 10:48 GMT stood at 5,509.00 points, flat in percentage terms. The stock is underperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index having climbed marginally into positive territory and standing 0.22 percent higher at 6,870.19 points. The group’s shares have added a little more than seven percent to their value over the past year, as compared with a near 12-percent fall in the Footsie.

Sean Bohen to leave group

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An AstraZeneca spokesman told Bloomberg in emailed answers to questions that the pharmco’s chief medical officer Sean Bohen, who is also executive vice president for global medicines development, will part ways with the company after it completes the transition to the new structure. The shake-up, unveiled last week, will see the blue-chip pharmco create two therapy area-focused R&D units, as well as mirrored commercial units.

The newswire further quoted Tim Anderson, an analyst with Wolfe Research, as saying in a note to clients on Friday that Bohen was likely to leave. While the spate of departures does not appear to foretell an R&D crisis or imminent bad news at the FTSE 100 group, the analyst reckons that “the optics of having respected leaders leave a company are never good”. Other recent departures at the company include Bahija Jallal, former head of the Medimmune unit, and ex-product and portfolio strategy chief Mark Mallon.

Analysts on AstraZeneca

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Deutsche Bank reaffirmed AstraZeneca as a ‘buy’ yesterday, valuing the shares at 6,900p. According to MarketBeat, the blue-chip group currently has a consensus ‘hold’ rating and an average price target of 6,124.68p.

As of 10:54 GMT, Tuesday, 15 January, AstraZeneca plc share price is 5,505.50p.

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