AstraZeneca today named Tony Zook as executive vice president for North America, succeeding David Brennan who was named chief executive of the company in July. Zook is slated to assume his duties in Jan 1, 2006, as Brennan takes over the reigns from the retiring Sir Tom McKillop, whose leadership began following the 1999 merger of Astra AB and Zeneca. Currently, Zook serves as AstraZeneca's senior vice president, U.S. commercial operations. "With over 20 years in the pharmaceutical industry, he is well-suited for this important post at a critical time in our industry," Brennan said of Zook in a company statement issued this morning. Brennan said following his appointment in July that his goal would be to spend some time in London, "to make sure there is a smooth transition from Tom to me." Brennan also said his new post will require him to be permanently based at AstraZeneca's London headquarters.