AstraZeneca needs new strategy after boardroom shake up

Source EP Vantage
Company AstraZenecaNovartisMedImmuneArdea BiosciencesThe Medicines Company 
Date April 26, 2012

Whoever becomes the new chief executive of AstraZeneca faces a difficult task - choosing a path to pursue to resuscitate the ailing Anglo-Swedish drug maker’s growth prospects. Options include a transformative acquisition, an outright sale of the company, or continuation of its current strategy of investing in R&D and smaller bolt-ons and hoping for a better success rate. None of them will provide an easy fix.

Astra now faces a tumultuous period until a permanent successor is announced to David Brennan, who has quit suddenly amid investor disquiet after six years in the job. While very effective at driving improvements in shareholder returns and profitability, Mr Brennan failed to do enough to protect the top line from inevitable patent expiries. Today’s disastrous first-quarter results, with sales of key products disappointing and a big downgrade to this year’s earnings forecast, illustrate the challenges that await his replacement.

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