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GSK replaces China head as bribery probe rolls on

Herve Gisserot takes over from Mark Reilly

GSK Herve Gisserot

Herve Gisserot, GSK's new general manager in China 

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has replaced Mark Reilly as the general manager of its GSK China subsidiary, but said he will continue on the executive team.

Herve Gisserot (pictured), who was formerly senior vice-president of GSK's pharmaceutical operations in Europe, will take over from Reilly, who left the country last month shortly before it emerged that four GSK China executives had been detained by the Chinese authorities. His departure was pre-planned  and in the course of his usual duties, according to the pharma company.

A spokesperson for GSK said Reilly has been placed in charge of the investigation into the allegations that staff at GSK China had paid $489m in bribes since 2007, using middlemen, including travel agencies, to funnel cash to doctors and health officials.

He will direct the investigation from GSK' offices in London, and GSK said he will also "support the interim management team and help [Gisserot] transition to his new role." Gisserot has previously worked in China and currently serves as president of the French industry trade body LEEM, although he will leave this post next month.

The company also confirmed that travel restrictions that had been imposed on GSK China's finance director Steve Nechelput have been lifted, adding that he will be staying on in his current role and will continue to be based in China.

Neither Reilly nor Nechelput have been charged with any wrongdoing during the course of the investigation, according to GSK.

GSK's chief executive Sir Andrew Witty was quizzed about the situation during the company's second-quarter results call earlier this week, and said the investigation would clearly have an impact on its $1bn Chinese business.

"From what we understand from the authorities, it appears that certain senior managers in the Chinese business have acted outside of our processes and our controls to both defraud the company and the Chinese healthcare system," he told investors.

"To see these allegations made about people working for GSK is … shameful and for me personally they are deeply disappointing."

26th July 2013

From: Sales, Regulatory

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