Glaxo Unveils Plans for New U.K. Consumer Headquarters
(Bloomberg) -- GlaxoSmithKline Plc announced the location of its new consumer health-care headquarters amid growing scrutiny over its plans to split in two next year.
Glaxo will base the new consumer company in Weybridge, England, just over an hour outside London, it said in a statement Monday. The new headquarters will house about 1,400 employees and open at the end of 2024. Consumer employees will move to a temporary site nearby for the two-year interim after the split.
The drugmaker faces increasing pressure after two activist investors took stakes in the company and publicly disagreed with some parts of its strategy. Elliott Investment Management, a notoriously aggressive activist fund, has pressed for Glaxo to be more open to a possible sale of the consumer division.
Elliott has also called for Glaxo to conduct a search for a new chief executive officer for the pharma branch over concerns current CEO Emma Walmsley lacks scientific expertise. The company has maintained that Walmsley will helm the new business.
Glaxo expects to appoint a new chair for the consumer branch by year-end and has committed to beefing up the pharma and scientific expertise on the board of the remaining company, which will focus on pharmaceuticals and vaccines.
Once the consumer division has been separated, the rest of the company will also relocate, with the new headquarters expected to be based in the same area as its current Brentford, London, building, Glaxo said. The drugmaker will provide an update on the move in mid-2022.
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