GSK Appoints CEO Designate of New Consumer Healthcare Company

By Miranda Greenberg -

July 29, 2021

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has appointed Brian McNamara, the CEO of GSK Consumer Healthcare, a joint venture between GSK and Pfizer, as CEO Designate of a new, to-be-listed Consumer Healthcare company that will result from the proposed demerger of the Consumer Healthcare business from GSK in 2022.

Subject to approval from shareholders, the separation of Consumer Healthcare will be by way of a demerger in mid-2022 of at least 80% of GSK’s holding to shareholders. The company generated 2020 sales of more than £10 billion ($13.8 billion) in 2020. The new resulting Consumer Healthcare company will be listed on the London Stock Exchange.

The demerger to form a new, separate Consumer Healthcare company has been a strategic priority for GSK. As recently outlined by GSK CEO Emma Walmsley in a June 2021 briefing, the demerger is part of the company’s strategy to focus on its core bio/pharmaceutical and vaccine businesses and allocate further resources to drive growth in those areas.

GSK’s decision to demerge its Consumer Healthcare business into a separate company follows the formation of two prior joint ventures for the business. Pfizer and GSK formed their Consumer Healthcare joint venture in 2019 with Pfizer owning a 32% stake and GSK 68%. Prior to forming the joint venture with Pfizer, GSK had gained full ownership in a consumer healthcare joint venture from Novartis by acquiring Novartis’ 36.5% stake in the companies’ joint venture in 2018. The GSK–Novartis consumer healthcare joint venture was formed in 2015 as part of a three-part transaction with Novartis, which included the formation of the consumer healthcare joint venture. Novartis also acquired certain oncology products and pipeline compounds from GSK and divested its non-influenza vaccines business to GSK.

Mr. McNamara joined GSK from Novartis in 2015, where he was head of the Over the Counter division. He contributed to the two successful joint ventures, first between GSK and Novartis and more recently with Pfizer to create a new Consumer Healthcare business.

With the separation of Consumer Healthcare, the Board of GSK has been preparing for two separate boards at the point of separation. The company says a formal process to appoint a Chair and to form a Board of Directors for the new Consumer Health company is underway and is expected in the second half of 2021.

Source: GlaxoSmithKline