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GSK’s vaccines president Debruyne heads for the exit

Roger Connor to take on the role in latest shake up

Since Emma Walmsley took the helm of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) just over a year ago, the UK’s largest drugmaker has seen lots of turnover in its senior positions.


The latest departure will see Luc Debruyne (pictured) leave his position as the company’s president of its vaccines business - a role he has held for five years.

Debruyne has served GSK for a lengthy 27 years in total, initially taking on a sales role at the company and has since held noteworthy positions including senior vice president and general manager and senior vice president, pharma Europe.

It’s safe to say that Debruyne made an impact during his concluding five years with GSK, steering the integration of Novartis’ vaccine business, including the research and development portfolios and manufacturing networks.

His responsibilities stretched to preparing the launch of Shingrix, GSK’s  blockbuster-in-waiting shingles vaccine, which pulled in sales of £110m ($150m) for the company in the first quarter and expects a sum total of just over £450m ($600m) for the vaccine this year.

GSK’s vaccines division grew by 6% last year, a significant amount compared to its pharma and consumer healthcare businesses, which saw growths of 3% and 2% respectively.

Debruyne, however, will soon pass the baton to GSK’s current president, global manufacturing and supply Roger Connor, who has been on the corporate executive team (CET) since 2012.

According to the company, Connor has “a proven track record of leading a complex, global organisation, developing organisational capability and driving cultural transformation”.

He has led the strategic transformation of GSK’s supply chain to support improved quality and supply performance, so he could be a in a good position to take over from Debruyne, who isn’t the only executive to leave the company recently.

Following in the footsteps of former chief executive Sir Andrew Witty - who left the company in March last year - R&D head Patrick Vallance also jolted for the exit, along with along with vaccines chairman Moncef Slaoui and ViiV Healthcare’s - GSK’s HIV-focused joint venture - Dominique Limet.

Not jumping ship however is Regis Simard, who is appointed president, pharmaceutical supply chain and will also join the CET effective 1 September.

Simard joined GSK back in in 2005 as a site director in France, having previously worked in the electronics, medical devices and pharmaceutical industries.

Article by
Gemma Jones

13th June 2018

From: Sales



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