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GSK appoints Lynn Elsenhans and Jing Ulrich to board

Adds experience from fuel and Chinese financial industries

Jing Ulrich - GSKGlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has added two executive directors to its board, with the appointments of Lynn Elsenhans and  Jing Ulrich.

Although holding little experience in pharmaceuticals, Elsenhans has held senior roles in the fuel industry, including serving as chair, president and CEO of  fuel providers Sunoco. She held all three positions from 2009 to 2012, having joined Sunoco as CEO in 2008.

Prior to her role at Sunoco, Elsenhans spent 28 years at fellow fuel company Royal Dutch Shell with her most senior role being executive VP, global manufacturing.

During her time at Sunoco, Elsenhans was named number 10 in Forbes magazine's most powerful women list, due in part to her position on the panel of the Goldman Sachs Global Energy Conference; her role in the sale of a Tulsa refinery; and the purchase of a 100 million gallon per-year ethanol manufacturing facility in New York.

Ulrich (pictured) also has not spent major time in the pharma industry during her career, although GSK will value her rich experience in both the financial sector and Chinese market.

She is currently managing director and chair of global markets, China at JP Morgan, acting as an adviser to asset management companies and large corporations. Ulrich also advises Chinese institutions making investments oversees in her current role.

Prior to joining JP Morgan in 2005, she was managing director for greater China equities for Deutsche Bank, and had previously held positions specialising in the Asia Pacific region with CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets and Emerging Markets Investors Corporation.

The UK pharma company recently saw the unscheduled exit from its board of News Corporation chairman James Murdoch, following his decision to relocate to the US in the wake of a series of damaging revelations about the media company's involvement in phone hacking.  

Ulrich's appointment reflects GSK's growing interest in the Chinese market. This includes comments from the company's CEO Andrew Witty that it is planning a recruitment drive for sales reps in the country as well as plans to research traditional Chinese medicines.

These appointments reflect proactive succession planning to ensure the board's membership is continuously refreshed and that it provides the leadership necessary to take GSK's global business forward,” said GSK's chair Sir Christopher Gent.

“Today's announcement also reflects the Board's priority of appointing candidates who have deep knowledge of emerging markets or experience of running global companies.”

8th May 2012

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