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GlaxoSmithKline PLC

GSK names former AstraZeneca finance boss as new chairman

Jonathan Symonds will be the man tasked with overseeing the mega merger of GSK and Pfizer’s consumer healthcare businesses

jonathan symonds
Symonds will join on 1 September

GlaxoSmithKline PLC (LON:GSK) has appointed the former finance boss of two its rivals to be its new chairman.

Jonathan Symonds, who was previously the chief financial officer at Novartis and AstraZeneca PLC (LON:AZN), will take over from Sir Philip Hampton, who is due to step down at the start of September after nearly four years in the role.

READ: GSK chairman steps down after consumer healthcare merger with Pfizer

Hampton revealed his intention to vacate his position back in January, saying it was “the right moment” to leave after GSK and Pfizer agreed to merge their consumer healthcare business.

Symonds, who will retire as HSBC Holdings PLC’s (LON:HSBA) deputy chairman in February, will now be tasked with overseeing that mega merger.

“Jon has exceptional experience in life sciences, and in the financial management and governance of major, global companies,” said GSK’s non-executive Vindi Banga, who led the search for Hampton’s successor.

“We are delighted that Jon will lead the board through this next phase for GSK, and we look forward to him joining in September.”

Symonds added: “I am delighted to be joining GSK, at what is a really important time for the company as it seeks to create value from its new R&D approach, and to create two, new world-leading companies, one focussed on Pharmaceuticals and Vaccines, the other on Consumer Healthcare.”

GSK shares were down almost 1% to 1,647.6p on Wednesday morning.

Quick facts: GlaxoSmithKline PLC

Price: 1723 GBX

Market: LSE
Market Cap: £85.97 billion
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