Business week in review
Sunday 31 March 2013
So, axe 5,000 jobs and pocket £3.7m. Nice work if you can get it. Pascal Soirot plays the role of the rich axe-man at drugmaker AstraZeneca, where he is chief executive. It emerged on Monday that he got those millions for just three months' work, which is about £40,000 a day at a time when the pharmaceuticals giant is trying to save money.
Soirot has announced closures at a string of Astra sites, including a major R&D facility in Alderley Park, Cheshire. On top of his base salary of 1.1m, he received compensation for bonuses lost when he left rival Roche for Astra.
Dame Clara Furse was unveiled as a member of the Bank of England's Financial Policy Committee last Tuesday. The former head of the London Stock Exchange will be joining a committee that will oversee the UK's financial system from next week.
The FPC was set up as part of sweeping regulatory reforms in the wake of the financial crisis.
Lloyd's of London, the world's biggest insurance market that was founded in 1678, announced it was back in the black on Wednesday after a lossmaking 2011. Boss Richard Ward acclaimed the "strong results".
...at a loss
Monday was tough for men looking for love, as Cupid chief executive Bill Dobbie was forced to defend the dating website against allegations that not all of its users may be genuine.
The BBC claimed that men were encouraged to sign up to the site after receiving fake responses from women agreeing to a drink or dinner. The report also alleged that the fake profiles were created by Cupid staff.
Dobbie said he was taking legal advice over a "great deal of misrepresentation and ill-informed speculation". Directors said their investigations found no evidence to support the claims.
A retailer blaming the weather for poor results? Yes, it's true: high street chains continue to roll-out this excuse for falling profit. Ian Cheshire, the boss at B&Q-owner Kingfisher, said on Tuesday that "depressing wintry weather" had hurt the DIY chain, as sales of barbeques and garden furniture plummeted.
Tidjane Thiam may be considered one of the UK's top bosses, but the Prudential chief executive was licking his wounds on Wednesday after being censured by the Financial Services Authority for misconduct over the failed takeover of AIA in 2010.
- 1 Howard Jacobson: Let's see the 'criticism' of Israel for what it really is
- 3 Belgium fan Axelle Despiegelaere lands L'Oreal campaign after World Cup viral photo
- 4 Britney Spears sings 'Alien' without Auto-Tune in embarrassing leaked audio clip
- 5 PornHub begs users to stop uploading video clips of Brazil getting beaten 7-1
Instagram of US airport security chiefs: Lipstick knives and IED training kits among items seized
Game of Thrones author George RR Martin says 'f*** you' to fans who fear he will die before finishing Westeros saga
Mick Jagger denies being World Cup curse and reason for Brazil’s embarrassing defeat
Israel-Gaza crisis: ‘We just want it to end… We don’t deserve to live like this’
Israel-Gaza crisis: Eight killed in Gaza Strip cafe while watching World Cup semi-final
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’
There’s a nasty smell in the political air – and it’s coming from the Tories
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