ALEX BRUMMER: Soriot must return to save Astrazeneca's reputation

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The pandemic has created a great divide between people who think they can work efficiently from the back bedroom and those who believe that creativity and productivity flow from the collaboration.
The pandemic has created a great divide between people who think they can work efficiently from the back bedroom and those who believe that creativity and productivity flow from the collaboration and accessibility that comes from being in a commercial setting.

It is less than ideal that Pascal Soriot, who is helping to lead the nation, Europe and large swathes of the world out of Covid, has spent the last several months at his home in Australia.

As good as modern communications are, the AstraZeneca boss is in the wrong time zone and far away from the regulatory flare-ups and political storms which have swirled up around the Oxford vaccine.

Missing in action: Astrazeneca boss Pascal Soriot, who is helping to lead Britain, Europe and much of the world out of Covid, has spent the last several months at his home in Australia

Soriot did a wonderful thing when he backed the development, trials and manufacture of a vaccine for all mankind at cost.

Competitors Pfizer and Moderna are piling up the earnings with £11billion and £13billion in extra revenues respectively.

But the noble aspirations of Soriot's pledge of 3bn doses for the world has been marred by communications failures, disputed trials, manufacturing slippages and politics.

Soriot's fellow Frenchman and 'friend' Thierry Breton, the EU's internal market commissioner, is blunt in his assessment of AZ chief executive's leadership.

At a time when European factories and nations are struggling to cope with the vaccine rollout he argues that…
Alex Brummer, By Alex Brummer for the Daily Mail
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