GlaxoSmithKline’s head of pharmaceuticals is leaving the drug giant after losing out in the race to replace retiring CEO Andrew Witty. GSK is hiring an AstraZeneca exec to replace him.
“Succession processes are challenging for everyone involved and, unfortunately, it is rare that all of those involved stay with the company,” Witty said in a statement.
Witty leaves the job March 31. He will be replaced bu Emma Walmsley.
Abbas Hussain will remain in the GSK pharma post for several months as Luke Miels transitions into the job after leaving AstraZeneca, GSK, which maintains significant operations in the Triangle area, said.
Miels will “stand down immediately,” AstraZeneca said, according to Reuters.
Hussain has worked at GSK in a number of roles over the past eight years. He has led the pharma unit since 2014.
Morgan Stanley analysts praised the selection of Miels, according to MarketWatch. He offers a “good balance with CEO Walmsley’s consumer knowledge,” MarketWatch noted.
Walsmley joined GSK (NYSE: GSK) in 2010. Most of experience is in cosmetics. She was chosen as Witty’s successor last September.