Result of AGM

11 May 2021 14:00 BST

Results of Annual General Meeting held on 11 May 2021

AstraZeneca PLC announced the results of the voting at its Annual General Meeting (AGM) today. As proposed in the Notice of AGM, all Resolutions were decided by poll vote. Resolutions 10 - 13 were passed as special resolutions; all other resolutions were passed as ordinary resolutions.

Resolution Votes for % of votes cast Votes against % of votes cast Votes cast in total Total votes cast as a % of issued share capital Votes withheld
1 To receive the Company's Accounts, the Reports of the Directors and Auditor and the Strategic Report for the year ended 31 December 2020  951,285,688 99.86 1,300,153 0.14 952,585,841 72.56 8,944,126
2 To confirm dividends  948,459,461 98.72 12,290,505 1.28 960,749,966 73.19 779,685
3 To reappoint PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP as Auditor  952,398,382 99.15 8,210,440 0.85 960,608,822 73.17 921,116
4 To authorise the Directors to agree the remuneration of the Auditor  959,859,984 99.93 712,232 0.07 960,572,216 73.17 956,959
5a To re-elect Leif Johansson as a Director  927,811,941 96.57 32,966,929 3.43 960,778,870 73.19 750,714
5b To re-elect Pascal Soriot as a Director  959,330,670 99.85 1,441,425 0.15 960,772,095 73.19 757,539
5c To re-elect Marc Dunoyer as a Director  955,828,852 99.52 4,600,836 0.48 960,429,688 73.16 1,099,897
5d To re-elect Philip Broadley as a Director  948,284,819 98.74 12,063,553 1.26 960,348,372 73.15 1,160,972
5e To elect Euan Ashley as a Director  952,998,109 99.28 6,906,560 0.72 959,904,669 73.12 1,623,921
5f To re-elect Michel Demaré as a Director  940,774,376 97.96 19,589,264 2.04 960,363,640 73.16 1,165,704
5g To re-elect Deborah DiSanzo as a Director  826,293,184 86.04 134,102,115 13.96 960,395,299 73.16 1,140,585
5h To elect Diana Layfield as a Director  959,699,058 99.93 675,091 0.07 960,374,149 73.16 1,154,886
5i To re-elect Sheri McCoy as a Director  710,781,431 74.03 249,365,290 25.97 960,146,721 73.14 1,388,375
5j To re-elect Tony Mok as a Director  958,732,518 99.83 1,606,337 0.17 960,338,855 73.15 1,184,730
5k To re-elect Nazneen Rahman as a Director  950,350,073 99.73 2,544,392 0.27 952,894,465 72.59 8,634,879
5l To re-elect Marcus Wallenberg as a Director  828,248,091 86.21 132,435,623 13.79 960,683,714 73.18 832,550
6 To approve the Annual Report on Remuneration for the year ended 31 December 2020  915,909,189 95.42 43,957,696 4.58 959,866,885 73.12 1,662,608
7 To approve the Directors' Remuneration Policy  564,935,789 60.19 373,708,277 39.81 938,644,066 71.50 21,415,088
8 To authorise limited political donations  930,305,254 96.90 29,777,151 3.10 960,082,405 73.13 1,446,855
9 To authorise the Directors to allot shares  817,312,076 85.14 142,701,485 14.86 960,013,561 73.13 1,515,509
10 To authorise the Directors to disapply pre-emption rights  939,179,092 98.03 18,824,969 1.97 958,004,061 72.98 3,474,403
11 To authorise the Directors to further disapply pre-emption rights for acquisitions and specified capital investments  932,779,470 97.36 25,292,148 2.64 958,071,618 72.98 3,406,846
12 To authorise the Company to purchase its own shares  942,491,633 98.16 17,676,115 1.84 960,167,748 73.14 1,310,466
13 To reduce the notice period for general meetings  847,834,118 88.31 112,182,050 11.69 960,016,168 73.13 1,462,280
14 To amend the rules of the 2020 Performance Share Plan 579,132,133 61.72 359,154,356 38.28 938,286,489 71.47 21,721,411

 

Issued capital

As at 7 May 2021, the number of issued shares of the Company was 1,312,762,006 ordinary shares, which was the total number of shares entitling the holders to attend and vote for or against all of the resolutions at the AGM. In accordance with the Company's Articles of Association, on a poll every member present in person or by proxy has one vote for every share held.

Notes

The Board is pleased that all resolutions have been approved by shareholders at the 2021 AGM. The Board notes the lower levels of support received for Resolutions 5i, 7 and 14. The Board has already engaged with a number of shareholders to understand the reasoning behind their decision not to support these Resolutions and will continue to engage during 2021.

Resolutions 7 and 14 - approval of the Remuneration Policy and changes to the AstraZeneca Performance Share Plan

The Remuneration Committee (the Committee) undertook an in-depth consultation process with the Company's largest investors when developing the revised policy, and were pleased with the positive reception for the proposals. Nonetheless the Committee recognises that a meaningful proportion of shareholders (including those who follow the guidance of their proxy advisors) were not able to support the new policy or the amendments to the 2020 Performance Share Plan rules. The Committee will continue to engage and listen to ensure investors' concerns regarding the approach to executive remuneration are understood.

The Committee acknowledges that it is unusual to seek approval for a revised Remuneration Policy at two consecutive AGMs and that remuneration is a sensitive matter during this pandemic period. Starting with the latter, it is important to emphasise that AstraZeneca has not applied for any Government funded wage subsidies or furlough arrangements around the world. Additionally, the Company has been a world-leading actor in the pandemic response through its non-profit vaccine initiative and other humanitarian actions.

The Committee also wanted to update the Remuneration Policy to acknowledge that the world drastically changed in the last 12 months, and so did AstraZeneca. Our Executive Directors have demonstrated solid and visionary leadership to steer the Company towards delivering another outstanding performance in terms of achieving stretched financial goals, over-delivering pipeline management targets to accelerate innovation, and negotiating new partnerships with great potential. They also initiated an impactful societal, non-profit initiative - in partnership with University of Oxford - as a response to the global pandemic, resulting in the development, production and supply of an effective vaccine in less than a year.

Since their appointment, the Executive Directors have driven a remarkable turnaround in the Company's performance, resulting in a TSR close to 300% over the last eight years and 77% over the last three years, both significantly ahead of our Global and European Pharmaceutical peers.

The Board's approach to reviewing the policy last year still continued to position executive remuneration well below market levels in the global pharmaceuticals industry, and did not accurately reflect AstraZeneca's improved position in the European market. Since that review, given the significantly increased scale and scope of what the CEO and CFO are being asked to deliver, and their continued commitment and undisputed performance, the Board considered it appropriate to take another step to address their market pay positioning in order to retain and incentivise them; and enable succession planning for the future. This decision was taken in the interests of all stakeholders to support the future growth of the Company, and provide us with the flexibility required to reward outstanding achievements with competitive pay for performance packages. 

Resolution 5i - re-election of Sheri McCoy as a Director

The Board understands that some shareholders have expressed concerns regarding Ms McCoy's other directorships and the potential for those to impact her time commitment to AstraZeneca.

 

The Board believes that Ms McCoy has brought, and continues to bring, considerable business experience and knowledge of the pharmaceutical industry and makes a valuable contribution to the work of the Board and Committees of which she is a member.

 

In 2020, Ms McCoy attended 96% of the Board and Committee meetings to which she was invited: 14 out of a possible 15 Board meetings, 7 out of 7 Audit Committee meetings and 6 out of 6 Remuneration Committee meetings.

 

Ms McCoy is currently working to reduce her appointments and intends to reduce her participation to not more than four boards by the 2022 proxy season.

 

The Board is satisfied that all Directors, including Ms McCoy, continue to make effective and valuable contributions to the Board and continue to devote sufficient time to discharging their responsibilities as Directors of AstraZeneca.

 

The Board seeks to maintain the highest standards of governance and to ensure an open and transparent dialogue with shareholders. The Board will continue to engage with, and listen to, the Company's shareholders. In accordance with the UK Corporate Governance Code, the Company will publish an update within six months of the AGM.

 

Additional information

A copy of the resolutions passed at the AGM will be submitted to the National Storage Mechanism in accordance with Listing Rules 9.6.2R and 9.6.3R, and will be available in due course for inspection at https://data.fca.org.uk/#/nsm/nationalstoragemechanism

AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca (LSE/STO/Nasdaq: AZN) is a global, science-led biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialisation of prescription medicines in Oncology and BioPharmaceuticals, including Cardiovascular, Renal & Metabolism, and Respiratory & Immunology. Based in Cambridge, UK, AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries, and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide. Please visit astrazeneca.com and follow the Company on Twitter @AstraZeneca.

AstraZeneca contacts

For details on how to contact the Investor Relations Team, please click here. For Media contacts, click here.

Adrian Kemp

Company Secretary

AstraZeneca PLC

 

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