UK – The British, science-led global healthcare firm, GlaxoSmithKline has announced that Sir Philip Hampton has decided to step down as non-executive Chairman of the company.
GSK, which recently unveiled plans to offload its consumer healthcare and nutrition business to Unilever said the Board has started the process of finding a successor.
Philip Hampton was appointed to the Board on January 1, 2015, as Deputy Chairman from April 1, 2015 and as Chairman from May 7, 2015.
Before joining GSK, Hampton was chairman of Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc and J Sainsbury plc.
“It is a privilege to serve as Chairman of GSK.
It is one of the UK’s great companies and under Emma Walmsley’s leadership, GSK has made very good progress with a new strategy and new approach to R&D.
Following the announcement of our deal with Pfizer and the intended separation of the new consumer business, I believe this is the right moment to step down and allow a new Chair to oversee this process through to its conclusion over the next few years and to lead the Board into this next phase for GSK,” said Philip.
His departure follows the plans unveiled by the company Chief Executive Emma Walmsley to split into two businesses, one for prescription drugs and vaccines, the other for over-the-counter products.
In December, GSK announced that it would combine its consumer health business through a joint venture with Pfizer Inc, to create a global entity with combined sales of approximately £9.8 billion (US$12.7 billion).
GSK’s leadership has also been under pressure from investors due to underperformance of the company’s share price especially in the global pharma and biotech sector.
As opposed to Philip’s predecessor who served about 10 years as chairman, he steps down barely five years at the helm and could be probably due to agitated shareholders who want a change in management to turn around the company fortunes.
Speaking on the matter, Vindi Banga, GSK’s Senior Independent Director said: “The Group has a clear strategy, is delivering improved operating performance and has a clear pathway forward, this is a good time to start the process to find Philip’s successor.”