GSK will pay first female CEO 25% less than Andrew Witty
GlaxoSmithKline says in its annual report that it will pay incoming CEO Emma Walmsley – the first woman to lead a top drug maker – some 25 percent less than the man she is replacing.
“Taking into account the fact that this is Emma’s first CEO role, reductions have been made to all elements of her remuneration package in comparison to Sir Andrew’s current arrangements,” the report says, according to Reuters and various other media reports in the U.K., where GSK is based.
Walmsley is set to take over as CEO on April 1. She is replacing Andrew Witty, who is stepping down. (Read Walmsley’s full bio below.)
Walmsley will receive just over $1 million in base salary, which is some 10 percent less than Witty, plus what Reuters describes as “significantly lower pension contributions” and other compensation.
Acknowledging the disclosure is likely to trigger criticism, a spokesman told Reuters: “We are acutely aware of the need for a balanced and responsible approach to remuneration.”
GSK named Walmsley as Witty’s replacement last September.
She joined GSK in 2010 from L’Oreal, where she held roles in the U.K., Europe and China.
“I am delighted and honored to be appointed GSK’s next CEO,” Walmsley said in the promotion announcement. “GSK is a company that leads both in science and in the way it does business.
“We have momentum in the Group and as the demand for medical innovation and trusted healthcare products continues to rise, we have the opportunity and the potential to create meaningful benefits for patients, consumers and our shareholders. I’m looking forward to working with Andrew and other leaders over the next few months to ensure a smooth handover and to develop plans for 2017 and beyond.”
GSK and other large pharmaceutical companies are regrouping amid competition from generic drugmakers, shedding units that aren’t central to their businesses and focusing on their strengths.
“Emma is an outstanding leader with highly valuable experience of building and running major global businesses and a strong track record of delivering growth and driving performance in healthcare,” said GSK Chair Philip Hampton. “Under Andrew’s leadership, GSK has successfully developed into a company with market-leading positions in pharmaceuticals, vaccines and consumer healthcare. These provide excellent platforms for sustainable, long-term growth, and we are confident Emma will successfully build on these strengths.”
GSK maintains several operations in the Triangle, from manufacturing to research, which employ several thousand people.
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Emma Walmsley is CEO Designate of GSK. She will formally succeed Andrew Witty as GSK CEO when he retires on 31 March 2017. She will join the GSK Board on 1 January 2017.
Emma has been the CEO of GSK Consumer Healthcare, a Joint Venture between GSK and Novartis, since it was created in March 2015. With a turnover of £6bn in 2015, GSK Consumer Healthcare is one of the world’s largest consumer health companies, developing and marketing products in Wellness, Oral Health, Nutrition and Skin Health. Underpinned by science-based innovation, the business has a portfolio of some of the most trusted and well loved brands globally including Panadol, Voltaren, Sensodyne and Horlicks.
Prior to this Emma was President of GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare and has been a member of GSK’s Corporate Executive Team since 2011. She joined GSK in 2010, with responsibility for Consumer Healthcare, Europe.
Prior to joining GSK, Emma worked with L’Oreal for 17 years where she held a variety of marketing and general management roles in Paris, London and New York. From 2007 she was based in Shanghai as General Manager, Consumer Products for L’Oreal China.
Emma became a non-executive director of Diageo plc on 1 January 2016.
Emma holds an MA in Classics and Modern Languages from Oxford University.