AstraZeneca facing a shareholder revolt over performance targets

 
Billy Bambrough
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AstraZeneca is facing shareholder unrest at its coming annual meeting (Source: Getty)

Shareholders of drug giant AstraZeneca are gearing up for a revolt at the firm’s annual meeting next month after chief executive Pascal Soriot was handed £8.4m in pay last year.

AstraZeneca will come under fire for not writing a key revenue target into Soriot’s bonus package.

The pharmaceuticals group has revealed that Soriot’s pay more than doubled last year, with about half of this coming from shares in a long-term incentive plan.

As justification for AstraZeneca’s rejection of a takeover bid from US rival Pfizer in 2014, Soriot promised the company could reach sales of $45bn (£31.3bn) by 2023.

In February AstraZeneca issued a profit warning due to the expiry of its exclusive rights to cash cow cholesterol drug Crestor in the US later this year.

Shareholder advisory group Pensions and Investment Research Consultants (Pirc) is in the process of putting together a report advising shareholders which way to vote on the matter.

“It's not acceptable to move the goal posts,” Tim Bush, head of governance and financial analysis, at Pirc previously told City A.M.

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