GlaxoSmithKline Chairman To Step Down
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has initiated a succession plan for a new chairman following the announcement by its current chairman, Philip Hampton, of his intention to step down as non-executive Chairman. Philip was appointed to the company’s Board of Directors on January 1, 2015. He was appointed as Deputy Chairman on April 1, 2015 and as Chairman on May 7, 2015.
“It is a privilege to serve as Chairman of GSK. It is one of the UK’s great companies and under Emma Walmsley’s [CEO of GSK] leadership, GSK has made very good progress with a new strategy and new approach to R&D,” Philip said in a January 21, 2019 statement. “Following the announcement of our deal with Pfizer and the intended separation of the new consumer business, I believe this is the right moment to step down and allow a new Chair to oversee this process through to its conclusion over the next few years and to lead the Board into this next phase for GSK.”
Last month (December 2018), GSK and Pfizer agreed to combine their consumer health businesses into a new joint venture, with combined sales of approximately £9.8 billion ($12.7 billion). GSK will have a majority controlling equity interest of 68%, and Pfizer will have an equity interest of 32% in the joint venture. The venture will create an over-the-counter (OTC) product portfolio with a global market share of 7.3%, according to information from GSK. The proposed transaction is subject to approval by GSK shareholders and conditional upon the receipt of certain antitrust authority approvals. Subject to these approvals, the transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2019.
The proposed Pfizer/GSK venture was the second major recent move GSK made in its consumer healthcare business. In June 2018, GSK gained full ownership in its consumer healthcare joint venture with Novartis by acquiring Novartis’ 36.5% stake in the joint venture for $13 billion. The joint venture was formed in 2015 as one 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.