Jul 14, 2019

GSK to appoint Jonathan Symonds as chairman

GlaxoSmithKline is to hire Jonathan Symonds, a former finance director at rival drugmakers AstraZeneca and Novartis, as its new chairman to oversee a break-up of the UK pharmaceuticals group. The appointment of Mr Symonds, who is currently deputy group chairman of HSBC, will end a six-month search for a replacement for Sir Philip Hampton, who has been non-executive chairman of GSK since 2015. During his tenure at AstraZeneca, Mr Symonds was involved in its acquisition of MedIummune, the biologics R&D company. One person briefed on the appointment process said it was this experience, not only in life sciences but, through his banking background, in capital markets, which made Mr Symonds a strong fit for GSK. The advanced talks between GSK and Mr Symonds were first reported by Sky News. A spokesman for GSK said: "GlaxoSmithKline plc announced in January 2019 that the board had started the process to find a successor to Sir Philip Hampton as non-executive chairman. An announcement of the appointment of a new chairman will be made in due course."

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