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AstraZeneca CEO David Brennan to step down


LONDON — The head of drug maker AstraZeneca will retire next month, the company said.

The Anglo-Swedish drug manufacturer announced the planned retirement of CEO and board member David Brennan, effective June 1.

Executive director and CFO Simon Lowth will act as interim CEO following Brennan's departure, until a new CEO can be found, while VP group finance Julie Brown will become interim CFO.

"After more than six years as chief executive officer of this great company, I have decided that now is the right time to step down and allow a new leader to take the reins," Brennan said. "The board's decision to appoint Simon Lowth as interim chief executive officer has my full support, and I am confident that AstraZeneca will continue to have a positive impact on the lives of patients around the world and, by doing so, will deliver real value to our shareholders."

In addition, Leif Johansson will succeed Louis Schweitzer as nonexecutive chairman starting June 1, three months earlier than previously announced, and has become chairman of the nomination and governance committee.

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