AstraZeneca boss brands £9m pay packet "annoying" when compared to peers

Callum Keown
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AstraZeneca And Pfizer Chief Executive's Give Evidence To Select Committee
Pascal Soriot was paid £9.4m last year (Source: Getty)

The chief executive of pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca said he finds it “annoying” he is not paid as much as his peers.

Pascal Soriot, who was paid £9.4m in 2017 down from the £14.3m he received the previous year, said he was annoyed at not being paid less than other chief executives, he told the Sunday Times.

Read more: New Glaxosmithkline chief executive pay package under investor pressure

Shareholders had raised concerns over his £9m pay deal, more than 37 per cent voted against the pay package and said it was “not suitably aligned with performance”.

The £70bn drugmaker had reported a 46 per cent drop in operating profits for the first quarter, shortly after the 59-year-old's pay packet was announced.

He said: “The truth is I'm the lowest-paid CEO in the whole industry.

“It's annoying to some extent, but at the end of the day it is what it is.”

Soriot said he and GlaxoSmithKline boss Emma Walmsley were the “lowest paid” in Europe and the US.

Read more: GlaxoSmithKline names Emma Walmsley as chief executive

Walmsley, who took the reins in April 2017, was paid £4.9m in her first full year – less than the £6.8m her predecessor Sir Andrew Whitty earned in his last full year in charge.

Soriot said: “There's other things in life than money. I'm not going to complain but me and Emma are the lowest paid in Europe and the US.”