GSK picks Emma Walmsley as chief executive

GlaxoSmithKline has appointed Emma Walmsley, the head of consumer healthcare, to be the pharma giant's first female chief executive.

Walmsley: previously worked at L'Oreal
Walmsley: previously worked at L'Oreal

Walmsley, who joined GSK in 2010 from L’Oréal, will replace Andrew Witty, who is due to retire in March next year.

She is currently the chief executive of GSK Consumer Healthcare, which was established in 2015 following the company’s purchase of rival Novartis’ vaccine business.

At L’Oréal she held a variety of marketing and general management roles in the UK, Europe and US. From 2007 she was based in Shanghai as general manager, consumer products for L’Oréal China.

Last year GSK awarded its £1.1bn global media account to incumbent agencies PHD, which handles the US business, and MediaCom, which buys its European media.

Philip Hampton, GSK’s chairman, said: "I am very pleased to announce Emma’s appointment, after what has been a very thorough and rigorous global selection process carried out by the GSK board of directors. 

"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."


Subscribe to Campaign from just £57 per quarter

Includes the weekly magazine and quarterly Campaign IQ, plus unrestricted online access.


Looking for a new job?

Get the latest creative jobs in advertising, media, marketing and digital delivered directly to your inbox each day.

Create an Alert Now

1 Meet the new breed of ad agency chiefs

A new wave of first-time CEOs are opting to do things differently in an evolving landscape. They discuss the business model of the future with Jeremy Lee.

Case study: How 'This girl can' got 1.6 million women exercising

1 Case study: How 'This girl can' got 1.6 million women exercising

"This girl can" was based on a powerful insight: that the fear of judgement by others is the primary barrier holding women back from participating in sport.

Just published