GlaxoSmithKline announced that Emma Walmsley, currently CEO of GSK’s consumer healthcare division, has been appointed GSK’s CEO designate and will succeed Andrew Witty as CEO when he retires on March 31, 2017.
Walmsley will become the first woman to head up a large global pharmaceutical company and will bring the number of female chief executives in the UK’s FTSE 100 index to seven.
Walmsley will join the GSK boardon January 1, 2017.
She is currently CEO of GSK Consumer Healthcare, one of the world’s largest consumer health companies.
Prior to that, Walmsley was president of GSK Consumer Healthcare and has been a member of GSK’s corporate executive team since 2011.
She joined GSK in 2010 from L’Oreal where she held a variety of marketing and general management roles in the UK, Europe and USA.
From 2007 she was based in Shanghai as general manager, consumer products for L’Oreal China.
Philip Hampton, GSK Chairman, said: “I am very pleased to announce Emma’s appointment, after what has been a very thorough and rigorous global selection process carried out by the GSK board of directors.
“Emma is an outstanding leader with highly valuable experience of building and running major global businesses and a strong track record of delivering growth and driving performance in healthcare.
“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.”
Walmsley said: “I am delighted and honoured to be appointed GSK’s next CEO.
“GSK is a company that leads both in science and in the way it does business.
“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.”