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Ex-Tesco chief Sir Dave Lewis to head up £45bn GSK consumer spin-off

·2-min read

Pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has hired former Tesco boss Sir Dave Lewis to chair the consumer healthcare business it plans to spin off next year.

GSK told investors on Monday morning that Sir Dave, who left the UK’s largest grocer in September last year, will take up the role from January 1.

The group’s consumer healthcare business – whose brands include Sensodyne toothpaste and Panadol paid relief – is set to demerge from the wide group in “mid 2022” and list separately on the London Stock Exchange.

Analysts have predicted that the spin-off, which is a joint venture with Pfizer and secured more than £10 billion in sales last year, will be worth around £45 billion.

Sir Dave was credited with driving a major turnaround at Tesco following its accounting scandal, having moved from rival consumer group Unilever.

Since leaving Tesco, he has joined the board of snack and drinks firm PepsiCo and become chairman of wildlife charity WWF-UK.

In October, the industry veteran was also appointed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson to advise the Government on how to tackle the supply chain crisis which had resulted in staff and labour shortages across the UK.

It comes after confirmation earlier this year that the current boss of the consumer healthcare division, Brian McNamara, will become chief executive of the spin-off.

GlaxoSmithKline
GlaxoSmithKline will demerge its consumer healthcare business towards the middle of next year (Andy Buchanan/PA)

Sir Dave said: “GSK Consumer Healthcare is a world-class business with significant prospects and a high-quality leadership team.

“I am looking forward to being part of its exciting future as an independent company and the very positive impact it can have on people’s health all over the world.”

GSK chairman Sir Jonathan Symonds said: “I am delighted to welcome Dave as chair-designate of the new consumer healthcare company.

“He brings outstanding global consumer and retail sector experience that will be of valuable support to Brian and the management team as they deliver the full potential of this new world-leading consumer healthcare company.”

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