BG Group has poached Simon Lowth from AstraZeneca to be its finance director. Mr Lowth, who was interim chief executive of the drug maker last year, is taking a pay cut to move to the FTSE 100 oil and gas company.
At BG Group, Mr Lowth is set to earn a basic salary of £725,000 a year, down from his base pay as Astra’s finance director of £740,000.
Last year he pocketed £2.1m, in part for his spell as chief executive after Astra’s board ousted David Brennan in May.
Some City analysts had expected Mr Lowth to retain the top post, but an external candidate, former Roche executive Pascal Soriot, was appointed.
Mr Soriot said yesterday that Mr Lowth had “made a significant and lasting contribution to AstraZeneca’s success”.
Patent expiries mean the drug maker is expected to lose about half its $33bn (£22bn) in annual revenues by 2016, and several products have failed trials.
BG Group has been looking for a finance chief since February, when Fabio Barbosa stepped down.