Glaxo is in Talks to Appoint Former Exec at Novartis as Its Next Chairman

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(Bloomberg) -- GlaxoSmithKline Plc, the U.K. drugmaker, is poised to name Jonathan Symonds, a former executive at rivals AstraZeneca Plc and Novartis AG, as its next chairman, a person with knowledge of the discussions said.

The appointment of Symonds, currently the deputy chairman at HSBC Holdings Plc, still needs to be finalized and is subject to approval from banking regulators, according to the person, who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public.

Glaxo is in Talks to Appoint Former Exec at Novartis as Its Next Chairman

Glaxo will announce a new chairman “in due course,” the company said in an email, declining to comment further. According to the person familiar with the talks, that could happen in coming weeks.

Symonds would replace Philip Hampton, who said earlier this year he was stepping down. The next chairman will help steer the British drug company as it splits its consumer-health business from the pharma and vaccines units, moves into the lucrative cancer field and deals with uncertainty surrounding Brexit.

Hampton has overseen a number of changes over the past four years, including the appointment of a new chief executive officer, Emma Walmsley, in 2017. Glaxo last year agreed to create a consumer-health joint venture with Pfizer Inc., a prelude to its separation.

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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