GSK appoints ex-L'Oréal manager as new CEO

Emma Walmsley is promoted from Head of Consumer Healthcare to Chief Executive

GSK has chosen Emma Walmsley, currently head of its Consumer Healthcare division, as its new Chief Executive.

Walmsley joined GSK in 2010 from cosmetics giant L’Oréal after a 17-year career, during which she held a variety of marketing and general management roles in the UK, Europe and US. She will succeed Andrew Witty, when he retires on 31 March 2017, and will join the GSK Board of Directors on 1 January 2017.

“We have momentum in the Group and as the demand for medical innovation and trusted healthcare products continues to rise, we have the opportunity and the potential to create meaningful benefits for patients, consumers and our shareholders." — Emma Walmsley

From 2007 Walmsley was based in Shanghai as General Manager, Consumer Products for L’Oréal China. GSK Consumer Healthcare was established in 2015 following the completion of GSK’s three-part transaction with Novartis. GSK Chairman Philip Hampton said Walmsley had been chosen after "a very thorough and rigorous global selection process" carried out by the GSK Board of Directors.

Walmsley said that she was "delighted and honoured to be appointed GSK’s next CEO". She said: “We have momentum in the Group and as the demand for medical innovation and trusted healthcare products continues to rise, we have the opportunity and the potential to create meaningful benefits for patients, consumers and our shareholders.

“I’m looking forward to working with Andrew and other leaders over the next few months to ensure a smooth handover and to develop plans for 2017 and beyond.”

Hampton added: “Under Andrew’s leadership, GSK has successfully developed into a company with market-leading positions in pharmaceuticals, vaccines and consumer healthcare.

“These provide excellent platforms for sustainable, long-term growth, and we are confident Emma will successfully build on these strengths.”

GSK manufactures a number of personal care products including those by oral care brands Sensodyne, Parodontax and Aquafresh. In skin care, it also owns Physigel, a body and facial skin care range designed to help take care of sensitive skin.

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