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Astra CEO Says He’s Furious Over Sex Harassment Charges

May 14, 1996

STOCKHOLM, Sweden _ The head of Astra, a Swedish pharmaceutical maker, told shareholders he is furious about alleged sexual harassment at the company’s U.S. subsidiary, and promised to train managers better in ethical conduct.

``No employee of Astra should have to come into contact with harassment of any sort. All misuse of power must be condemned,″ said Haakan Mogren, Astra’s chief executive officer, in comments carried in Tuesday’s Svenska Dagbladet newspaper.

He told shareholders at a Monday meeting that ``this has caused suffering and trouble for our employees.″

Astra USA chief Lars Bildman was suspended last month after company officials learned of allegations that the executive fondled young female employees while dancing and suggested they have sex.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is questioning former Astra employees who have charged Bildman and two of his top associates with sexual harassment.

Employees filed 16 legal or internal complaints of harassment during Bildman’s 15-year tenure as chief executive of the company, based in Westboro, Mass.

An attorney for Bildman has denied the charges.

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