Shake-up : Glaxo chief exec Emma Walmsley
The head of GSK’s vaccines division is leaving in the latest shake-up since chief executive Emma Walmsley took over last year.
Luc Debruyne, who has been with the pharmaceuticals group for 27 years, will be replaced by head of global manufacturing Roger Connor.
Debruyne helped prepare the launch of GSK’s successful shingles vaccine Shingrix, which was approved in the US last October and is key to the company’s success.
Reasons for his exit were not given but it follows the retirement of finance boss Simon Dingemans, 53, and the departure in March of Patrick Vallance, 58, head of research and development.
Walmsley, 49, has led a ruthless reshuffle at the top of GSK, replacing 50 of her 125 top managers in the 14 months she has been in charge.
The firm has been through a difficult few years with dwindling sales of its ageing lung drug Advair and a lack of blockbuster drugs from its research labs.
Walmsley is shifting focus back to making those drugs, and has made research and development a top priority.
She has already poached Luke Miels from rival Astrazeneca to become global pharmaceuticals president, and appointed Tony Mills from Pfizer as her head of platform technology and science.
Debruyne, who worked as GSK’s general manager for Italy and the Netherlands, has said he wanted to lead the industry in improving global health.
Walmsley did not comment on Debruyne’s departure. But GSK said Connor, Debruyne’s replacement, has ‘a proven track record of leading a complex, global organisation’.