GSK appoints consumer head as CEO of new spin-off

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Company logo of pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline is seen at their Stevenage facility, Britain October 26, 2020. REUTERS/Matthew Childs/File Photo

(Reuters) – British drugmaker GSK said on Thursday its consumer healthcare head, Brian McNamara, will take over as the chief executive officer of the unit once it is spun off into a new company next year.

GSK in June laid out plans to divest its consumer arm, a joint venture with Pfizer Inc (NYSE:) that includes brands such as Sensodyne toothpaste and Advil painkillers, in its biggest shake-up in two decades.

The company also rejected activist investor Elliott Management’s demand earlier this month to review its leadership, and said CEO Emma Walmsley will remain in her role after the spin-off.

McNamara, who GSK said was appointed to lead the new company after an “extensive search and selection”, joined the pharma major in 2015 from Novartis, where he headed the over the counter products division.

“His strong track record of success and deep experience of fast moving consumer goods and consumer health, proven at P&G, Novartis and GSK, means he is the right choice,” said GSK Chairman Jonathan Symonds.

The appointment of a chair for the new consumer healthcare company is expected in the second half of 2021, GSK said, adding that the chair would then lead the formation of the new board.

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