I have to say, even though I have been investigating GSK for about a decade now, even I was initially partly convinced by the rhetoric of the new CEO, Andrew Witty. He was very charismatic in the beginning (and I’m sure that’s why he got the job) and a little like how we all felt about Obama compared to Bush, Witty seemed so human compared to his predecessor, the insufferable, and infamous- JP Garnier (or at least ‘human’ by comparison). But, it was all a load of hogwash, merely slick marketing and good PR- ‘present the public with a very convincing face, something that looks human, and not at all sociopathic’- and it seems many of us are easily fooled (I was never fooled, but I did think his rhetoric was convincingly polished, and almost sounded genuine in the beginning but I did see through it). However, it seems that GSK’s culture has anything but changed, and perhaps has, in fact- got much much worse.
Under Witty’s rule, GSK has weathered several scandals which more than match those under Garnier’s reign. While Garnier presided over huge scandals, including the infamous Seroxat scandal, Witty had to face into 3 Billion worth of fines from the department of justice in 2012, an expose of GSK’s tax avoidance by the BBC, alongside other exposes which included Panorama’s documentaries on birth defects from SSRI’s like Seroxat, and their 2014 exposure of GSK corrupting doctors in Poland and elsewhere. Contaminated plants such as Cidra in Puerto Rico, and in Ireland also, brought shame and controversy on the company- as did the ongoing Avandia and Pandemrix defective drug scandals (not to mention the ongoing. Seroxat scandal).
Despite claims by GSK (and others) that they had ushered in a new era of transparency and ethics, many of these scandals all occurred under Andrew Witty’s tenure as CEO. He is now faced with a systemic corruption scandal, the biggest it seems in China, but according to some websites, it now spans more than 10 countries:
“Corruption allegations against Glaxo have spread since the China scandal broke. The company is investigating potential bribery in 9 Middle Eastern countries, plus Poland.”
Read more: Top GSK exec faces life in Chinese prison for alleged ‘massive bribery network’ – FiercePharmaMarketing http://www.fiercepharmamarketing.com/story/top-gsk-exec-faces-life-chinese-prison-alleged-massive-bribery-network/2014-05-14#ixzz31owdUGFH
Where will it all end for Andrew Witty? I doubt he really cares- he is a multi-multi millionaire by now, and even if he jumped ship tomorrow- he would have more money in his bank account than most of us could ever even dream of… he could quite easily sail happily into the sunset (and often that’s what many of them do- bankers, CEO’s, politicians- they are a different breed- they don’t have consciences).
Would you put your conscience, or your soul, up for sale?
I wouldn’t- but for some it seems, their soul can be sold to the highest bidder…
That’s of course, if they ever had one in the first place…
Appearances can be deceptive…
Whenever I think of people like Andew Witty, and those of his ilk, I’m reminded of the classic Pink Floyd song ‘Money’ which sums them all up in a nutshell…
Money, get away
Get a good job with good pay and you’re okay
Money, it’s a gas
Grab that cash with both hands and make a stash
New car, caviar, four star daydream
Think I’ll buy me a football team
Money, get back
I’m all right Jack keep your hands off of my stack
Money, it’s a hit
Don’t give me that do goody good bullshit
I’m in the high-fidelity first class traveling set
And I think I need a Lear jet
Money, it’s a crime
Share it fairly but don’t take a slice of my pie
Money, so they say
Is the root of all evil today
But if you ask for a raise it’s no surprise
That they’re giving none away
Away, away, way
Away, away, away