GSK share price: Head of vaccines business set to step down
Moncef Slaoui, head of GlaxoSmithKline’s (LON:GSK) vaccines business, is set to step down next year, the blue-chip drugmaker has said. The news of his departure comes after earlier this year, the group’s chief executive Sir Andrew Witty also unveiled plans to retire next year.
GSK’s share price has slipped into negative territory in today’s session, having lost 1.13 percent to 1,400.00p as of 13:21 BST. The decline is in line with losses in the broader London market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index having shed 1.28 percent to stand at 5,967.68 points. The pharmco’s shares have gained about two percent over the past year, as compared with about a 12-percent fall in the Footsie.
GSK announced in a statement today that Dr Moncef Slaoui, chairman of the group’s vaccines business, had indicated to the Board his intention to retire from the company next year. Slaoui will step down from the board at the end of March next year, but will remain an adviser until the end of June. He joined GSK in 1988 and became a board member in 2006. Reuters noted in its coverage of the news that Slaoui was also overseeing GSK’s venture capital fund which invests in biotech companies.
“On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank Moncef for his great contribution to the company,” the pharmco’s chair Philip Hampton said in the statement. “He has been personally involved in the discovery and development of some of our most innovative vaccines and spearheaded the overhaul of GSK’s pharmaceutical R&D.”
The news of his departure comes at a sensitive time for the company which is currently also searching for a new boss with Sir Andrew Witty set to retire in March next year amid a downturn in the group’s sales and profits over the past few years.
In analyst ratings, Jefferies reiterated its ‘hold’ stance on GSK today, valuing the shares at 1,500p. Goldman Sachs, which sees the blue-chip pharmco as a ‘buy,’ set a price target of 1,800p on the stock earlier this month.
As of 14:09 BST, Tuesday, 14 June, GlaxoSmithKline plc share price is 1,402.00p.