Another GSK Executive Departs as Emma Walmsley Continues to Shape Company Leadership

GlaxoSmithKline Emma Walmsley

Changes continue at the c-suite level of GlaxoSmithKline. This week another high profile executive, Chief Financial Officer Simon Dingemans announced he will retire from GSK in 2019. He is the latest executive to leave the company since Emma Walmsley took over as chief executive officer.

Dingemans has been with the British pharmaceutical giant since 2011. As CFO he has helped advance the company’s business strategy and drive its operational performance. In his role as head of finance, Dingemans has also led a number of group function including Technology and IT, Real Estate and Procurement.

Dingemans called his last seven years with GSK a privilege as he helped shape its business strategy.

With the new strategy set, we have established strong foundations to deliver improved business and financial performance and I believe now is the right time for me to take this decision,” he said in a statement.

Walmsley touted Dingemans work as CFO. She said he has played a “very significant role” in shaping the company by taking a “consistent and sustained approach” to supporting GSK’s investments and improving operational efficiencies. In a statement, she thanked him for his counsel in helping develop a new strategy for the company that is focused on its pharma pipeline.

The GSK board of directors will conduct a thorough global search both internally and externally to identify a successor for Dingemans, the company said. Dingemans will be eligible to receive a bonus for 2018 based on a combination of business and individual performance, GSK said.  

Since taking over as CEO last year Walmsley has reshaped the leadership of GSK with a hard focus on the company’s pharmaceutical R&D business. Most recently Walmsley tapped Genentech’s Kevin Sin as the head of worldwide business development for pharmaceuticals research & development. Sin, who currently serves as vice president and global head of oncology business development at Genentech, is expected to take on his new role at GSK in July. He will report to Hal Baron, who took over as GSK’s chief scientific officer last year. Another key hire for Walmsley was AstraZeneca’s Luke Miels as the global head of GSK’s pharmaceuticals.

Not only has Walmsley focused her efforts on shaping the c-suite, she has also replaced about 50 of the company’s top managers since she assumed the reins of the company.

The changes in leadership were implemented in order to help the company with its renewed focus on pharma R&D. Last year Walmsley announced a major shakeup to GSK’s R&D division, which at the time accounted for 16 percent of the company’s revenue. The shakeup was in response to declining revenue from generic challenges to its asthma drug, Advair and a lack of blockbuster drugs coming out of its programming. The company closed more than 30 preclinical and clinical programs and said it will allocate 80 percent of its research-and-development budget to respiratory and HIV/infectious diseases. Additionally, GSK plans to strengthen its oncology and immuno-inflammation areas.

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