STAT+: After leading a corporate turnaround, a swashbuckling CEO flies AstraZeneca into turbulence

It took eight years, a failed hostile takeover, and a sweeping scientific turnaround for AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot to become one of the drug industry’s leading lights. Now, after 11 bumbling months of Covid-19 vaccine development, the French-born executive finds himself at the center of a multinational credibility crisis, moving from scandal to scandal as his rivals bask in global acclaim.

What’s become clear is that AstraZeneca has failed at exactly what is supposed to be its core competency: conducting research to develop new medicines and to prove that those medicines are safe and effective. On Monday night, the Anglo-Swiss drug giant stumbled into a public clash with the National Institutes of Health — with none other than Anthony Fauci, the NIH infectious disease expert who has come to be seen as America’s doctor, accusing the company in STAT and on Good Morning America of an “unforced error.”

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STAT+: After leading a corporate turnaround, a swashbuckling CEO flies AstraZeneca into turbulence

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