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AstraZeneca to appoint finance boss from new £28bn subsidiary

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AstraZeneca has tapped the finance boss from its new 39 billion dollar (£28 billion) subsidiary to take over one of the company’s most senior jobs.

Alexion Pharmaceuticals’ Aradhana Sarin will become chief financial officer at Astra later this year, after the deal between the two companies has completed.

She takes over from Marc Dunoyer, a seven-year veteran in the role, who will be appointed as Alexion’s new chief executive and Astra’s chief strategy officer.

The reshuffle comes after a busy year for the vaccine maker, which has faced both praise and criticism during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Astra developed one of the first Covid jabs on the market, which has been used to treat millions of patients worldwide.

Although it was less effective at preventing Covid-19 than some of its rivals, the AstraZeneca vaccine was hailed for its low cost in comparison to other jabs.

However, a controversy in Europe around blood clotting led to the vaccine briefly being suspended, and some countries are still not giving their citizens the jab.

In December, Astra revealed that it would take a multi-billion bet on Alexion – its biggest ever – which could give it a better foothold in China and other emerging markets.

The deal still needs approval from regulators in Europe and the UK. It has been passed by competition authorities in the US.

The companies have little in common, with drugs targeting very different areas. It marks a big bet for Astra on Alexion’s rare diseases portfolio.

Mr Dunoyer has been a vocal supporter of the deal to buy the company he will now lead.

Last month, he told Bloomberg: “It is quite rare to find somebody who says it’s not a good idea, so we are confident that this will turn out OK.”

Dr Sarin has been at Alexion since 2017, joining as chief business and strategy officer and later becoming chief financial officer.

She will take over the job at Astra on August 1 if the Alexion deal has completed by then.

Dr Sarin previously held roles at Citi, UBS and JP Morgan and trained as a medical doctor in India.

She will be paid a base salary of £850,000, with the potential for bonuses on top of that.