GSK hires ex-Tesco boss to lead its healthcare spin-off

DRUGMAKER GLAXOSMITHKLINE has drafted in former Tesco chief executive Sir Dave Lewis to chair its planned standalone consumer healthcare business.

Dave Lewis

Grocery veteran Dave Lewis (Image: Joe Giddens/PA Archive/PA Images)

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Sir Dave, who left Britain’s biggest supermarket in September last year, will begin the role on January 1.

GSK’s healthcare arm – where brands include Sensodyne toothpaste and Panadol pain relief – is set to demerge in mid-2022, and list separately on the London Stock Exchange.

Analysts predict the joint business venture with US pharma giant Pfizer will be worth around £45billion.

As chief executive, Sir Dave was credited with driving a major turnaround at Tesco following its accounting scandal, having moved from rival consumer group Unilever.

Since leaving the leading grocer, he has joined the board of drinks and snacks corporation PepsiCo and become chairman of wildlife charity WWF-UK.

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In addition, the industry veteran was appointed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in October to advise the Government how to tackle a supply chain crisis including country-wide labour shortages.

His GSK move comes after confirmation earlier this year that Brian McNamara, current boss of the business’s consumer healthcare division, will become chief executive of the spin-off.

Sir Dave said: “GSK Consumer Healthcare is a world-class business with significant prospects and a high-quality leadership team. I am looking forward to being part of its exciting future as an independent company and the very positive impact it can have on people’s health all over the world.”

GSK chairman Sir Jonathan Symonds said: “I am delighted to welcome Dave as chairdesignate of the new consumer healthcare company.

“He brings outstanding global consumer and retail sector experience that will be of valuable support to Brian and the management team as they deliver the full potential of this new world-leading consumer healthcare company.”

William Murphy

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