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 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
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