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AstraZeneca slumps on report CEO is heading to Teva

Chief Executive of AstraZeneca Pascal Soriot leaves after appearing at a commons science committee hearing at Portcullis House in London May 14, 2014.

Luke MacGregor

LONDON (Reuters) - Shares in AstraZeneca fell more than 5 percent on Thursday after the company declined to deny a media report that Chief Executive Pascal Soriot was about to defect to Israel-based Teva Pharmaceutical Industries.

Soriot, who has led the Anglo-Swedish company since 2012, met with Teva's search committee and its chairman to express his agreement to serve as its next CEO, the Calcalist financial news website said late on Wednesday.

Both companies said they did not comment on market rumors.

Teva was left without a permanent CEO in February after Erez Vigodman stepped down, leaving new management to try to restore confidence in the world's biggest generic drugmaker after a series of missteps. Chief Financial Officer Eyal Desheh also resigned at the end of June.

AstraZeneca's shares fell...


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