Glaxo Appoints Brian McNamara Chief of Consumer Health Division

  • McNamara is currently head of Europe, Americas at unit
  • Novartis veteran will take role immediately, report to Witty

GlaxoSmithKline Plc named Brian McNamara the head of its consumer-health division, replacing Emma Walmsley a week after she was chosen as the next leader of the U.K.’s biggest drugmaker.

McNamara, 50, will take on the new role immediately, enabling Walmsley to focus on preparing to succeed Chief Executive Officer Andrew Witty. McNamara will report to Witty until Walmsley takes the top job in March, according to a statement Thursday.

The London-based drugmaker last week ended months of speculation on who will succeed Witty, but also sparked new questions over who would lead its consumer-health division and whether Walmsley will stick to Witty’s strategy. Witty, who announced his retirement in March, has come under fire from investors for his approach, which emphasized diversification into products like toothpaste and over-the-counter painkillers as well as volume-based growth, particularly in emerging markets.

McNamara oversaw business in Europe and the Americas at Glaxo’s consumer-health division. He joined the company last year from Novartis AG following completion of Glaxo’s three-part asset swap with the Swiss drugmaker.

McNamara spent eleven years at Novartis, where he started off in 2004 as senior vice president of the North America over-the-counter business. Before that, he spent sixteen years at Procter & Gamble Co. He will join Glaxo’s executive team effective immediately and will continue as a member of the board of the consumer-health joint venture with Novartis. An American, he will be based in the U.K.

McNamara has a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Union College
and a master’s in business administration from the University of Cincinnati. He is a father of three, an avid mountain climber and enjoys skiing.

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