GSK Experiences Another Leadership Shakeup with Departure of U.S. Pharma Head

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As GlaxoSmithKline continues to evolve its business structure under Chief Executive Officer Emma Walmsley, another leadership change is happening at the top levels. Jack Bailey, head of the company’s U.S. pharmaceuticals business is stepping down at the end of the year.

Bailey, who has been with GSK for about 10 years, will be replaced by Maya Martinez-Davis, who currently serves as regional president of the Latin America Region at EMD Serono, the biopharmaceutical business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. Prior to her role overseeing the Latin America region for EMD Serono, Martinez-Davis helmed the company’s global oncology business. That will benefit her as GSK’s focus on oncology increases. In its announcement late Monday, GSK said Martinez-Davis “brings outstanding experience of successfully bringing new specialty care treatments to patients.” In addition to her time at EMD Serono, Martinez-Davis spent 13 years at Pfizer leading various business units around the world including oncology and vaccines.

Martinez-Davis will officially join GSK in mid-September and will then take the reins of the U.S. pharmaceuticals business on Jan. 1, 2020, the company said. She joins GlaxoSmithKline six months after the company forged a deal with Merck KGaA valued at about $4 billion to develop an immunotherapy for difficult to treat cancers. GSK and Merck KGaA struck an agreement in February to collaborate on the development of M7824, an investigational bifunctional fusion protein immunotherapy that has the potential to be a treatment for difficult-to-treat cancers including non-small cell lung and biliary tract cancers.

Luke Miels, head of GSK’s Global Pharmaceuticals business, said the company is pleased to have found a leader the caliber of Martinez-Davis to replace Bailey. Miels said Martinez-Davis will bring a “valuable U.S. experience and deep therapy area expertise” to the company as it expands its specialty care capabilities and market presence in the U.S. Bailey will remain as a strategic consultant to GSK through 2020.

Speaking of Bailey, Miels called him an “exceptional leader” who made a “very significant contribution” to the success of the company during over the course of his 10 years of employment.

“After more than a decade at GSK and nearly three decades in the life sciences industry, I look forward to the chance to explore my next professional chapter. I am enormously proud of every GSK U.S. colleague who has worked so hard to both navigate an exceptionally dynamic operating environment while returning the U.S. affiliate to double-digit revenue growth these past several years,” Bailey said in a brief statement. “I am confident the company will build upon the talent, culture and performance success of the U.S. affiliate as it now expands its portfolio into oncology.”

Martinez-Davis is the latest in the string of executive changes since Walmsley took over the reins of the company in 2017. The next change in the leadership structure is set to take place at the end of this month. Sir Philip Hampton, GSK’s longtime chairman of the board, will step down from his role ahead of the company’s plan to split into two separate business units, a consumer healthcare business in a partnership with Pfizer, and the pharmaceutical business. Hampton will be succeeded as non-executive chairman of the board by Jonathan Symonds, Deputy Group Chairman of HSBC Holdings plc and a former chief financial officer of Novartis and AstraZeneca.

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