Throw another shrimp on the barbie

Throw another shrimp on the barbie

In what could be a devastating blow at his chances to land the CEO job at the soap opera known as Sanofi (NYSE:SNY), Pascal Soriot currently the CEO at AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN) publicly stated that he considers himself Australian and not French. It’s seem that while Mr. Soriot is a French citizen he does not consider himself French as he stated during this morning’s earnings call  “Maybe you could call me the Australian. My family lives there and that’s where I will retire.”

Given the improvement in Astra’s diabetes results, French or not speculation that Soriot will become the next Sanofi CEO is heating up. The company showed improving sales for Farxiga and Bydureon while sales of Onglyza seem to have stabilized. Like Lilly (NYSE:LLY) Astra is one of the few diabetes drug companies that commands a comprehensive portfolio of treatment options, the only option missing being insulin.

Our biggest concern with Astra has always been the ability to focus.  First the company partnered with Bristol Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY) to buy Amylin, next they bought out BMS so they could own all the diabetes assets outright then came the offer from Pfizer (NYSE:PFE). To say the company was slightly distracted with all these events going on is like saying it’s occasionally windy in Chicago.

While we wouldn’t say Astra has hit their stride, it does seem they are getting closer to doing so. Which is typically the time something goes haywire and this time it’s the speculation on whether Soriot accepts the Sanofi job, which by all indications is his if he wants it. As we noted last week the ultimate irony here would be if he does take the job and then pulls a Pfizer and goes after his former employer. Given that Astra is holding their investor day on the 18th and Sanofi has theirs on the 20th, Diabetic Investor suspects Soriot has been given a deadline from the Sanofi on board on making a decision.

Once Sanofi has their new CEO and Chairman, whoever they are Diabetic Investor suspects this could set off a chain reaction of events and not just at Sanofi. Already rumors are spreading about who would replace Soriot should he go to Sanofi and not unexpectedly these possible candidates have diabetes experience. This game of musical chairs in the executive suite could then result in a flurry of deals as these new CEO’s take control and begin pursuing their visions.

So a word to the wise for anyone who thought the wacky world of diabetes couldn’t get any wackier, think again. So throw another shrimp on the barbie mate and enjoy the ride. To Diabetic Investor it looks to be a wild one.