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Troubled Astra USA Names New President

September 10, 1996

WESTBORO, Mass. (AP) _ Swedish pharmaceutical maker Astra AB on Tuesday hired a Canadian executive to replace the head of its American subsidiary who was fired after being accused of sexual harassment and embezzlement.

Ivan R. Rowley, 47, vice president of the managed care division of Astra Pharma Inc., the Swedish pharmaceutical firm’s Canadian subsidiary, will start immediately as president and chief executive of Astra USA.

Rowley replaces Lars Bildman. Company investigators have accused Bildman of ``inappropriate behavior″ at Astra functions and misusing $2 million in company money to repair his homes and take family vacations. He has denied the allegations.

Jan Larsson, the parent company’s executive vice president, had been serving as president and CEO of Astra USA since Bildman’s suspension April 29. Bildman was fired June 26.

The federal government is investigating at least three charges against Astra, two of which allege widespread sexual harassment.

Astra has reached out-of-court settlements with 12 former employees who made sexual harassment complaints, according to the company. At least seven other former employees have sued the company since the allegations surfaced.

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