AstraZeneca announces Non-Executive changes, retirement of Chairman and appointment of successor

Posted: 1 March 2012 | | No comments yet

Leif Johansson proposed to shareholders for election as a Non-Executive Director…


AstraZeneca PLC announced today that Leif Johansson will be proposed to shareholders for election as a Non-Executive Director at the Company’s Annual General Meeting on 26 April 2012. It is the Board’s intention that he will be appointed Non-Executive Chairman of the Board with effect from 1 September 2012. On that date, Louis Schweitzer intends to retire from the Board as Chairman and as a Director.

In addition, Graham Chipchase and Geneviève Berger will be proposed to shareholders for election as Non-Executive Directors at the AGM in April.

Subject to shareholder approval, all three individuals will join the Board with effect from 26 April 2012.

Michele Hooper intends to retire from the Board at the close of the AGM on 26 April 2012 after nine years’ service as a Non-Executive Director. She is currently senior independent Non-Executive Director, Chairman of the Audit Committee and a member of the Nomination and Governance Committee.

With effect from 26 April 2012, John Varley will take over as senior independent Non-Executive Director. He will remain Chairman of the Remuneration Committee and a member of the Nomination and Governance Committee.

With effect from the same date, Rudy Markham will become Chairman of the Audit Committee and will join the Nomination and Governance Committee. He will remain a member of the Remuneration Committee.

It is planned that Leif Johansson will join the Nomination and Governance Committee; Graham Chipchase will join the Audit Committee; and Geneviève Berger will become a member of the Science Committee, each with effect from 26 April 2012.

Biographical information about the proposed new Board members can be found below.

Louis Schweitzer, Chairman said: “I am delighted that we are able to announce the Board’s decision to propose Leif Johansson to shareholders for election to the Board at the AGM in April and to appoint him to succeed me as Chairman on 1 September. Leif is an outstanding businessman with a first-class track record leading multinational companies, as well as previous experience of the pharmaceutical industry.

We are also recommending that Graham Chipchase and Geneviève Berger join the Board as Non-Executive Directors. They will bring respectively in-depth financial and scientific expertise, as well as significant international business experience. As Michele Hooper will leave the Board in April after nearly nine years’ service, the Board expresses its gratitude for her distinguished contribution to its work and her dedicated service as Chairman of the Audit Committee and senior independent Director.”

All current Directors (including Louis Schweitzer), with the exception of Michele Hooper, will be presenting themselves for re-election, in accordance with AstraZeneca’s normal practice, at the AGM on 26 April 2012.

Biographical details

Leif Johansson

Leif Johansson is Chairman of global telecommunications company, LM Ericsson, a position he has held since April 2011. From 1997 until 2011, he was Chief Executive of AB Volvo, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of trucks, buses, construction equipment, drive systems and aerospace components. He spent a significant part of his early career at AB Electrolux, latterly as Chief Executive from 1994 to 1997. He was a non-executive director of Bristol-Myers Squibb from 1998 to September 2011, serving on the board’s audit committee and compensation and management development committee.

Leif Johansson is Chairman of the European Round Table of Industrialists and the International Advisory Board of the Nobel Foundation. He holds board positions at Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget SCA, the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise and Ecolean AB. He holds an MSc in engineering from Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, and has been a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences since 1994. He became Chairman of the Academy this year.

Graham Chipchase

Graham Chipchase is Chief Executive of global consumer packaging company, Rexam PLC. He was appointed to the position in 2010 after previous service at Rexam as Group Director, Plastic Packaging (2005-2009) and Group Finance Director (2003-2005). Prior to joining Rexam, he was Finance Director, Aerospace at global engineering group, GKN plc, from 2001 to 2003. After starting his career with Coopers & Lybrand Deloitte, he held a number of finance roles in the industrial gases company, The BOC Group plc (now part of The Linde Group) (1990-2001). He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and holds an MA (Hons) in chemistry from Oriel College, Oxford.

Geneviève Berger

Geneviève Berger is Chief Research & Development Officer at Unilever PLC and a member of the Unilever Leadership Executive. She holds three doctorates – in physics, human biology and a medical doctorate. She was appointed Professor of Medicine at Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris in 2006. From 2003 to 2008 she was Professor and Hospital Practitioner at l’Hôpital de la Pitié-Salpêtrière, Paris. Previous positions she has held include Director of the Biotech and Agri-Food Department, then Head of the Technology Directorate at the French Ministry of Research and Technology (1998-2000); Director General, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (2000-2003); and Chairman of the Health Advisory Board of the EU Commission (2006-2008). She was a non-executive board member of Unilever from 2007 to 2008 before being appointed to her current position and has been a non-executive director of Smith & Nephew plc since 2010.

There are no additional directorships to disclose under paragraph (1) and no disclosure obligations arise under paragraphs (2) to (6) of LR 9.6.13 R of the UK Listing Authority’s Listing Rules in respect of the proposed appointments.

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