British multinational pharmaceuticals company, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), has reportedly appointed former Tesco chief, Sir Dave Lewis, to lead the £40 billion ($52 billion) separation of the firm’s consumer health care unit.
Sir Lewis, who has become one of the UK’s most respected corporate figure after running Britain’s biggest retailer for six years, has agreed on becoming the non-executive chairman of GSK's new unit.
One source privy to the matter has suggested that the announcement of the appointment may come early next week.
GSK, whose management had been under pressure recently from its activist investor, Elliott Advisers, was able to record a major win in the city with the recruitment.
The consumer healthcare business will be given a new corporate name at a capital markets day, during spring next year, and said to be the largest globally, with £10 billion ($13 billion) sales last year.
The spinoff, which is a joint venture formed in 2019 with Pfizer, with GSK owning a 68% stake, will be demerged from the pharma giant and listed as a new company. Brian McNamara, who is currently commanding the joint venture, has already been announced as the newly listed firm’s chief executive.
Sir Lewis will be responsible for assembling the board for the new business, which is expected to become a premium listing in London, becoming a separately traded company by the summer of 2022.
With GSK’s demerger, the company will be focusing on its pharmaceutical products and vaccines, ensuring that the capital will be allocated more efficiently.
While GSK is yet to make an official comment on the matter, it has also confirmed the appointment of several other executives that will be leading the new business.
Dame Emma Walmsley, Chief Executive of GSK, had stated back in October that the firm is continually making progress towards effectively unlocking the overall value of Consumer Healthcare with the help of a demerger by mid-2022.
It is worth noting that Sir Lewis and Dame Emma had served together on Prime Minister Theresa May’s business council where they had jointly chaired the consumer, retail, and life sciences sub-group.