British pharma group GSK picks new CEO


London (AFP)

British drugs giant GlaxoSmithKline on Tuesday said it had appointed Emma Walmsley, head of its consumer healthcare unit, as its new chief executive to succeed Andrew Witty, who is retiring.

Walmsley, who joined GSK from French cosmetics giant L'Oreal six years ago, will take up her new post at the end of March next year.

"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," GSK chairman Philip Hampton said in a statement.

"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," he added.

Witty will retire after almost a decade at the helm. GSK said details of Walmsley's salary would be disclosed next year.

Walmsley said GSK had "the opportunity and the potential to create meaningful benefits for patients, consumers and our shareholders" thanks to a rise in "medical innovation and trusted healthcare products".