Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

AstraZeneca Seeking to Link Executive Pay to $45 Billion Target

  • Firm looking how to link long-term incentives to sales goal
  • Sunday Times said 20% of shareholders may reject CEO package

A board committee at AstraZeneca Plc is looking at ways to more clearly link executive compensation to a $45 billion revenue target amid reports of investor concern over the pay package of Chief Executive Officer Pascal Soriot.

The remuneration committee will keep evaluating ways in which a “more transparent” link can be made between long-term incentives and the 2023 revenue target, the U.K.’s second-largest drugmaker said in an e-mail on Sunday.

The Sunday Times reported that more than 20 percent of shareholders may reject a remuneration package for Soriot, citing unidentified sources. The executive team’s performance targets, set for a four-year period through the end of December, are under scrutiny as the company warned of a drop in core operating profit per share this year.

AstraZeneca, based in London, rejected a buyout offer from Pfizer Inc. in 2014, with Soriot then promising that the company could reach sales of $45 billion by 2023.

The performance of Soriot and his team is currently evaluated on two criteria: that the dividend stays at or above $2.80 per share and core earnings don’t fall below 1.5 times the dividend, or $4.20 per share.

The remuneration committee will continue to consult with major shareholders on proposals to "further simplify our long-term incentive plans for the future where practicable," the company said.