Just call him Sir Andrew.
Andrew Witty, chief executive officer at GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE: GSK) has been declared a knight by Queen Elizabeth. The honor means he has the right to utilize Sir Andrew.
Also on the list is Jonathan Ive, design chief at Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL). Ive, a native of the U.K. who lives in the U.S., already holds a Commander of the British Empire, or CBE, title.
Witty, who jousted with two other executives at GSK to win the CEO job in 2008, learned of the honor on New Year’s Even when Buckingham Palace disclosed a list of annual awards recipients.
At age 47, he is “among the most youthful” knights, according to The Financial Times.
“Sir Andrew has placed great emphasis on diversifying the company away from its traditional ‘white pills in western markets’ core towards much greater emphasis on sales in emerging markets and of a range of biological medicines and over-the-counter consumer health products alongside prescription pills,” The Times noted.
Bloomberg news also pointed out that GSK also is developing a malaria vaccine.
Witty will receive the knighthood formally when at an upcoming ceremnony the Queen touches him on both shoulders with a sword.
“The honors are bestowed in the name of the queen and are recommended by an independent panel, which considers suggestions from government departments and political parties as well as from the public,” Bloomberg said.
GSK operates its U.S. headquarters in Research Triangle Park.
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