Witty named as new Glaxo chief
By Andrew Jack in London
Published: October 8 2007 08:14 | Last updated: October 8 2007 10:01
GlaxoSmithKline, the world’s second-biggest pharmaceutical group, Monday ended a lengthy search for a new head with the appointment of its youngest chief executive – 43-year-old Briton, Andrew Witty
Mr Witty, currently head of GSK’s European division, will take over from Jean-Pierre Garnier when he steps down in May next year in a move that signals a shift towards a more youthful and internationally oriented management
Mr Witty, like his two internal rivals for the top job, Chris Viehbacher and David Stout, has had experience in the US, the world’s largest medicine market, but spent more of his career running the company’s fast-growing divisions in Asia-Pacific and Africa.
Since 2003 he has helped to increase sales modestly while keeping costs under control in Europe. This has come about at a time of growing pressure from healthcare services to cut medicine prices, using techniques that could provide a model for the US and elsewhere.
His appointment came after an unusual selection process in which each of the three candidates was given a project to test their leadership and management skills. The process also included exhaustive interviews, advice from consultancy firms and the canvassing of employees.
Sir Christopher Gent, GSK’s chairman, said: “Andrew’s appointment follows a rigorous selection process by the board of directors.
“The fact that we have been able to select a successor to JP [Garnier] from three strong internal candidates is a testament to the quality of management at GSK.”
The company’s shares dipped in London trading, closing down nearly 1 per cent at £13.17.
Shire has promoted its finance director to takeover as chief executive from Matthew Emmens who has led Britain's third largest pharmaceutical group for five years.
The group is implementing a top-level shake-up after GlaxoSmithKline and AstraZeneca made similar moves among its management. Angus Russell will become chief executive at the company's annual general meeting next year and Mr Emmens will be appointed non-executive chairman, taking over from James Cavanaugh who is retiring from the board.
The Basingstoke-based group follows GlaxoSmithKline, which two months ago named Andrew Witty as its new chief exectuve, while AstraZeneca, Britain’s second largest drugs firm, made David Brennan its new chief executive in 2006.
Investors, however, did not welcome Shire's changes and sent shares down 5.15 per cent to £10.87. Shire said that the reshuffle was triggered by Dr Cavanaugh's retirement as chairman and will not signal a change in strategy. The group has grown rapidly in the past five years following a string of acquisitions that increased its market capitalisation from £1.7 billion to £6.6 billion. Mr Emmens said this morning: "M&A strategy for the company will remain as it has been."
He added: "Shire has an unusual and highly successful business model. The thinking is that the more that we can retain of the team that has delivered to date, the better the chances of success in the future."
The company focus on tested drugs rather than focusing on expensive and risky research and development. Mr Emmens identified products that reduce surgical scars as Shire's most promising area.
Shire is in partnership with Renova, which is trialling Juvista to prevent and reduce scarring. He said: "It's a brand new area and it has the ear of the cosmetic surgery world." GENEVA: Roche Holding on Thursday named Severin Schwan as chief executive after the 40-year-old manager led the expansion of the Swiss company into diagnostic tools to help find patients who respond to its medicines.
Schwan, the head of the diagnostics unit at Roche, will take over in March from Franz Humer, a fellow Austrian, who remains chairman. Schwan will be the youngest chief executive for the company, based in Basel, Switzerland. Humer is 61.
Roche also said that first-half profit rose 24 percent.
Roche is growing faster than rivals like Novartis by expanding the use of cancer medicines like Avastin and Herceptin. Schwan is leading a $3 billion hostile bid by Roche for Ventana Medical Systems and has made three takeovers this year to increase ties between diagnostics and drugs.
"I really like everything I am seeing," Dieter Buchholz, an analyst at AIG Private Bank in Zurich, said. "Making Schwan the new CEO makes sense and I would say is the most positive surprise."
The company said that Schwan would take over as chief executive six months from now to allow Humer to focus on his role as chairman. Schwan has worked at Roche since 1993, when he joined as a finance officer in Basel. Humer was also named chairman of Diageo, the world's biggest liquor company.
作者:admin@医学,生命科学 2011-02-15 17:14