Emma Walmsley to be the only woman leading a top-25 drugmaker.
GlaxoSmithKline Plc’s new chief executive looks a lot like other bosses at large pharmaceutical companies: a graduate of Oxford, white, with worldwide experience managing thousands of employees. There is, though, one big difference: She’s not a man.
Emma Walmsley will lead the British drugmaker starting in March, breaking the gender barrier at the world’s top 25 drugmakers and highlighting the dearth of female leadership among Europe’s biggest companies.
"I´ve never primarily defined myself by my gender" Walmsley said in a video posted on Glaxo’s website Tuesday after announcing her appointment. “I’ve been lucky enough to always work for companies or in countries where being female hasn’t limited or restricted me.” Walmsley, a 47-year-old mother of four, made what she described as “a bungee jump” to Glaxo from cosmetics giant L’Oreal SA in 2010 following a meeting with CEO Andrew Witty, who will retire in March.
Big pharma hasn’t been a trailblazer in promoting women. It’s behind the technology and consumer sectors though it’s better than -- or at least no worse than -- the finance and energy industries. Women captured less than 3 percent of new CEO positions globally last year, the worst showing since 2011, according to a PwC study of 2,500 global public companies.
“We’re not doing a good enough job in developing female talent at the highest level,” outgoing Novo Nordisk A/S CEO Lars Rebien Soerensen, who has no women reporting to him, said in an interview in May. “We’re not worse or better than any other. It’s a cultural-social issue that we have in Europe.”
Walmsley is one of two women on Glaxo’s top executive team, according to the company’s website. She will join the board on Jan. 1 and take the helm of the London-based company on March 31, Glaxo said in a statement on Tuesday. At L’Oreal, she held positions in the U.S. and Europe, and had been in China for three years when she had her 2010 meeting with Witty.
“I love to see courageous leaders with strong points of view,” Walmsley said in the video. “We all have a responsibility to be role models, to inspire our daughters to stay ambitious.” (Más)
Emma Walmsley, nueva consejera delegada de GlaxoSmithKline