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UPDATE 1-AstraZeneca names Ericsson's Johansson as chairman
March 1, 2012 / 7:41 AM / 6 years ago

UPDATE 1-AstraZeneca names Ericsson's Johansson as chairman

(Adds details, background)

LONDON, March 1 (Reuters) - AstraZeneca said it had chosen Leif Johansson as its next chairman, leading the board at a time when the pharmaceutical firm faces the challenges of shrinking revenue, job losses and fixing its drugs pipeline after a number of setbacks.

Johansson has been chairman of the world’s top mobile network equipment maker Ericsson since April 2011 and prior to that was chief executive of world number two truck maker Volvo AB.

He is also a former chief executive of home appliances maker Electrolux and was a non-executive director of Bristol-Myers Squibb from 1998 to 2011.

AstraZeneca faces loss of exclusivity on many of its top-selling drugs over the next five years and has few obvious replacements in its pipeline.

The Anglo-Swedish drugmaker is cutting a further 7,300 jobs and expects earnings to fall 14-18 percent this year as patents on key drugs expire and governments in Europe and the United States squeeze prices.

AstraZeneca said Johansson would be proposed for election as a non-executive director at the company’s annual shareholder meeting on April 26 with a view to appointing him non-executive chairman from Sept. 1 when current incumbent Louis Schweitzer will retire. (Reporting by Paul Hoskins; Editing by Rhys Jones)

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