AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot receives highest honour
The Australian chief executive of biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca has been knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for spearheading the response to the global Covid-19s pandemic.
On Thursday, Pascal Soriot was awarded a British knighthood for services to UK life sciences and leadership in the Covid crisis during the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2022.
Mr Soriot said he had never imagined receiving such a high honour from the Queen.
“I am truly humbled by this recognition,” he said.
“(It) is a great privilege to receive this award and an honour to work with so many outstanding people around the world dedicated to following the science in order to bring medicines to patients.”
“This recognition is also theirs and I would like to thank each of them for their commitment to our mission.”
Under Mr Soriot’s leadership, AstraZeneca rose to international prominence during the pandemic when the company produced a Covid vaccine and made it available at a cost that yielded no profit.
The company has led the charge towards equitable access to Covid vaccines by providing 80 per cent of the supply to a World Health Organisation initiative to distribute vaccines globally.
AstraZeneca has provided three billion vaccines to 180 countries, with two thirds of that supply being directed to low and lower-middle income countries.
In Australia, Mr Soriot’s efforts have led to more than seven million Australians being vaccinated against Covid.
In addition to his role as chief, Mr Soriot is engaged in a global push towards sustainable healthcare.
With the aim of making the UK-based AstraZeneca company carbon negative within three years, he has committed to planting 25 million trees in Australia to help the country regenerate after the bushfires, floods, and drought.
AstraZeneca chair, Leif Johansson applauded Mr Soriot’s “well deserved” recognition.
“His personal dedication to drive advances for patients, to establish AstraZeneca as a leading scientific company, and to develop the people who work alongside him, make this a fitting honour,” he said.
Mr Soriot has been knighted during the formal celebrations on the first day of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, which marks 70 years on the throne. She is the first monarch in history to celebrate the milestone at 96 years of age.
Originally published as AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot receives highest honour
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