GlaxoSmithKline announces its new CEO as insider Emma Walmsley. She becomes the first woman to head a top global pharmaceutical company and brings the number of female chief executives in Britain’s FTSE 100 index to seven. Laura Frykberg reports.
New GSK CEO to be most powerful woman in FTSE 100
It’s a pharmaceutical giant, with mountainous market value.
And it’s only ever been run by MEN.
Emma Walmsley is GlaxoSmithKline’s new CEO.
An insider with years of experience.
And, an acute awareness, of gender ineqaulity in business.
(SOUNDBITE) GSK CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, EMMA WALMSLEY SAYING:
“I very much take my responsibility seriously, alongside other female leaders, be it in business, or in politics, and how wonderful that we have made so much progress there recently, or also in academia, we all have a responsibility to be role models, to inspire our daughters to stay ambitious.”
The role makes her the most powerful woman on the FTSE 100.
GSK is worth twice as much any other female-led firm.
It also brings the total number of women running those companies, to SEVEN.
Slow progress, say some.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) SENIOR FX STRATEGIST, RABOBANK, JANE FOLEY, SAYING:
“I think really we do need to go back down to the bottom really of the food chain, I do think that it is important to encourage women graduates and then to encourage them all the way through their careers so that when there are openings for the very top jobs at board level that there are enough women candidates that are trained and experienced to take those roles.”
Walmsley replaces retiring CEO Andrew Witty.
Whose reputation suffered after the company was involved in a corruption scandal in China, leading to millions of pounds in fines.
More recently he was under pressure to increase profit.
A task Walmsley appears well placed to achieve.
She says she’s extremely competitive.
But shares fell after her appointment, many investors had favoured an outsider.