David Brennan: “A Long And Rewarding Career”

David Brennan announced his retirement today.

AstraZeneca Chief Executive Officer and Board member David Brennan announced today that he is retiring after six years in the position, saying it has been a “genuine privilege” to lead the company.

The following are comments Brennan made during a call with journalists about AstraZeneca’s first quarter financial results:

“The pharmaceutical sector is experiencing pressures none of which I’ve witnessed in my 36 years in the industry. I remain very confident that AstraZeneca has the capabilities, courage and determination to be successful into the future. If we maintain our focus on meeting the needs of patients and trying to solve unmet patient needs, we can continue to deliver attractive and sustained returns for our shareholders.

“The time for reflection on what has been a long and rewarding career with AstraZeneca will have to wait until I hand over responsibilities. For now, my attention remains and will continue to remain 100 percent focused on delivering our strategy.

“But I do want to say that I am proud of what we have achieved in my time as Chief Executive:

  • We have built some of the world’s leading products … that are making a meaningful difference to the lives of patients every day.
  • We have established a position in emerging markets and we continue to invest there.
  • We’ve re-shaped R&D; and we’ve taken the difficult but necessary decisions to reduce our cost base, allowing for increased investment where there are opportunities for growth opportunities.
  • And we’ve returned considerable value to shareholders.
  • At a sector-level too, we’ve tried to lead the debate on restoring trust in the pharmaceutical industry through the introduction of a bold policy on interactions with healthcare professionals.

“It’s been a genuine privilege to lead this company over the last six years or so. Now I am looking forward to a new chapter in my life, including spending more time with my family, something that is precious to me.”

Brennan’s retirement is effective June 1. The Board has asked Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer Simon Lowth to act as interim Chief Executive Officer until a permanent successor is in place.