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GSK's Andrew Witty joins government board

Andrew Witty, CEO of GSK, has been appointed as the lead non-executive board member at the UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

Andrew Witty, CEO of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), has been appointed as the lead non-executive board member at the UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) with effect from January 1, 2011. Witty has declined remuneration for this role.

Non-executive board members consist of experts from outside government who provide relevant business experience to assist in the delivery of government policy. The BIS board will form the collective strategic and operational leadership of the Department and will focus on performance and delivery. 

The non-executive board members will be responsible for:
Providing advice on the operational/delivery implications of policy proposals
Providing independent support and guidance on the progress and implementation of the business plan 
Providing management advice to the Permanent Secretary
Being available to advise Ministers on operational issues and performance
Forming a Remuneration Committee to advise on the bonus structure for the department
Forming a Risk and Audit Committee
Attending occasional government-wide non-executive's meetings
Being involved in the recruitment and appraisal of senior executives, and succession planning
Determining, together with the finance director, a limited number of Key Performance Indicators for the department as a basis for monitoring progress.

To avoid any potential conflicts of interest, Witty will not see paper or be involved in discussions relating to pharmaceutical issue.

Commenting on Witty's appointment, Business Secretary Vince Cable said: "I've always said that I want Britain to be open for business and for BIS to be the Department for growth. Andrew's wealth of experience in business will be invaluable to making sure that that's exactly what happens. 

"Andrew's perspective on what works for businesses and the implications that policies will have on them will be a useful litmus test for our policy makers to see what will happen on the ground before we take a specific course of action."

Witty has acted as an advisor to numerous governments during his career, including South Africa, Singapore, Guanzhou China and the UK.  In January 2010, Witty became president of the European Federation of Pharmaceuticals Industries and Associations (EFPIA).

"I am delighted to have been asked to take on this role. I look forward to working with BIS and the Secretary of State to build on the UK economy's many strengths to deliver long term sustainable economic growth," said Witty.

16th December 2010


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