certificate (4)EMMA WALMSLEY – CEO of GSK

The Mother of four made history in 2017 as she became the first female Chief Executive of the £80 Billion Pharmaceutical company. She also became one of only seven female FTSE 100 chief executives.

I, for one, think women are living in one of the most crucial and empowering eras since 1918, when women were granted the first rights to vote. Now that we have another female Prime Minister in power, plus a growing number of women CEOs within top FTSE 100 companies and other significant movements such as #MeToo, surely the alleged ‘glass ceiling’ will be smashed to smithereens?

This article could quite easily turn into a feminist rant but that would be discrediting Emma Walmsley’s accolades and distract from her career achievements which are the very reason she has been appointed CEO of GSK.

So, with all eyes are on Mrs Walmsley, since her appointment last April, what changes have been made to the U.K.’s largest drug maker under her reign?

Movers and Shakers

Since taking over last year, there have been changes in 40 percent of Glaxo’s top executives, replacing around 50 of the top 125 managers. Walmsley has hired people from the outside while promoting others from within.

She has been building a force to be reckoned with, former Novartis exec Tobias Hestler has been appointed CFO of Glaxo’s consumer business and Tamara Rogers, from Unilever appointed as Region Head of EMEA within the Strategic Leadership team. Christine Roth, also formerly at Novartis, is now head of the Global Oncology Franchise.

Business changes

With IQVIA now forecasting African Drug Sales for 2020 at $25 Billion, after the same research experts previously forecasting it at $45 Billion 5 years ago. The $20 Billion loss has resulted in an unspecified number of job losses in sub-Saharan Africa.

GSK will no longer market medicines to healthcare professionals in 29 sub-Saharan African markets and instead adopt a distributor-led model. Patient access to medicines and vaccines will not be affected by this change.

Drugs being axed:


Rheumatoid arthritis (sirukumab)

Phase 3

Spontaneous pre-term labour (retosiban)

Phase 2

Hepatitis C (NS5B polymerase inhibitor); Small cell lung cancer (tarextumab); Cholestatic pruritis (iBAT inhibitor); Heart failure (TRPV4 antagonist); Psoriasis (topical ROR gamma inverse agonist)

Phase 1

Influenza (Danirixin); Solid tumours (EZH2 inhibitor); Small cell lung cancer (LSD1 inhibitor); Psoriatic athritis (CCL20 mAb); Wound healing (daprodustat); Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (DGAT 1 inhibitor)

Investment plans

GSK has revealed plans to invest £40 Million in Britain’s life sciences sector despite. With the Brexit deals looming, GSK and other pharmaceutical giants are trying to reinforce the UK’s world class Life Sciences Sector.

GSK’s investment will expand its efforts to generate genetic sequencing data from UK Biobank, a huge, long-term study of genes.


Drugs launched

GSK has officially launched its triple-therapy HIV drug Triumeq on the Chinese mainland, pricing it lower than in South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong markets.

Company Sales

Sales – taken from GSK third quarter 2017 Press release

The US sales growth of 8% AER, 4% CER

Europe sales grew 2% AER, but fell 2% CER

In International, sales growth of 2% AER, 1% CER

Sales in Emerging Markets were flat at AER, but fell 1% CER

Sales – taken from GSK Second quarter 2017 Press release

The US sales growth of 15% AER

Europe sales grew 11% AER, 2% CER

In International, sales growth of 10% AER

Growth in Emerging Markets of 11% AER, 2% CER


Sales half year 1 – 2017

The US sales growth of 20% AER, 8% CER

Europe sales grew 10% AER, 1% CER

In International, sales growth of 14% AER, 3% CER

Growth in Emerging Markets of 15% AER, 4% CER


This is merely a snapshot of information which I appreciate may have been crudely digested, so I do apologise in advance.

This article could go on forever but instead I will conclude with a cliché that I feel is quite fitting. ” With great power comes great responsibility.”

I am excited to follow Emma Walmsley’s movements within GSK, looks like she will do a great job!

Sian Alexandra

Director of Orbit Search Recruitment

(Life Sciences Recruitment Agency)

Tel: 0207 965 7799



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