AstraZeneca chief financial officer to depart

AstraZeneca announced Monday that chief financial officer Simon Lowth will depart the company at the end of October and a search for his successor is under way. The drugmaker noted that Lowth, who joined AstraZeneca in 2007, is leaving to take up the position of CFO at oil and gas producer BG Group.

"Simon has made a significant and lasting contribution to AstraZeneca's success, helping put the company on a stronger footing for the future," remarked CEO Pascal Soriot. Lowth held the position of interim CEO at AstraZeneca for a period last year following the retirement of former CEO David Brennan. At the time, some analysts had suggested that Lowth may be appointed to the position permanently.

According to an AstraZeneca spokesperson, Lowth's departure was "not planned." Berenberg analyst Alistair Campbell remarked that "the timing is unexpected, but I thought he would move on at some point." The analyst added that the departure "isn't a huge deal and shouldn't be too disruptive."

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