AstraZeneca's CEO Soriot to join Israeli drugs company Teva: report

TEL AVIV (Reuters) - Israel-based Teva Pharmaceutical Industries TEVA.TA is expected to name Anglo-Swedish group AstraZeneca's AZN.L Chief Executive Pascal Soriot as Teva's next CEO, the Calcalist financial news website said on Wednesday.

Pascal Soriot leaves after appearing at a commons science committee hearing at Portcullis House in London May 14, 2014. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

Soriot has met with Teva's TEVA.N search committee and its chairman and expressed his agreement to serve as its next CEO, Calcalist said.

Teva was left without a permanent CEO in February after Erez Vigodman stepped down, leaving new management to try to restore confidence in the world’s biggest generic drugmaker after a series of missteps. Chief Financial Officer Eyal Desheh also resigned at the end of June.

Soriot is expected to earn twice as much as Vigodman and receive a bonus upon signing the contract, estimated at about $20 million, Calcalist said, adding that the financial terms were still being discussed.

Shares in Teva were up 3.4 percent at $32.02 in late New York trade, while AstraZeneca's shares in New York AZN.N were up 0.03 percent at $33.25.

“We don’t comment on rumor and speculation,” an AstraZeneca spokeswoman said.

Teva also said it did not comment on market rumors. The company’s chairman, Sol Barer, said in May his top priority was the continuing global search to identify a candidate with “deep and broad pharmaceutical experience” to serve as Teva’s permanent CEO.

Then chairman Yitzhak Peterburg replaced Vigodman on a temporary basis.

When asked whether Teva might waive its requirement for the CEO to be based in Israel, Barer said in May: “We are looking around the world for the best candidate. We are committed once we find that candidate to do what it takes to bring that candidate to Teva.”

The French born Soriot, 58, has been AstraZeneca’s CEO since 2012. AstraZeneca has been active in Israel since 2009.

Reporting by Tova Cohen; Editing by Greg Mahlich