And just like his predecessor, J.P. Garnier , Sir Andrew Witty will say what he’s told to say, evade difficult questions about ethical breeches, defective drugs, bribery, corruption and gross immorality and get paid millions every year to do it… then in a few years he’ll sail off into the sunset with a well stocked golden parachute, a hefty bank balance, and job offers from far and wide…. and when he’s gone another one will take his place…
July 27, 2014 8:09 pm
GSK’s Witty fights back amid bribery scandal and profit warning
For most of his six years as chief executive of GlaxoSmithKline, Andrew Witty has been the golden boy of British business.
Young, dynamic and plain-speaking, the Yorkshireman became a fixture in any ranking of most admired UK chief executives. A knighthood sealed his status in 2012.
Yet a difficult past year has taken some of the sheen off his reputation and, as he approaches his 50th birthday next month, Sir Andrew finds himself under pressure.
First came the Chinese bribery scandal that has imperilled GSK’s position in a crucial growth market and undercut Sir Andrew’s image as a champion of ethical reforms in the drugs industry. Then, last week, he issued a profits warning that exposed weakness in the company’s core respiratory medicines business.
Perils of intervention
Sir Andrew Witty warns the UK government against putting up barriers to foreign investment in the wake of Pfizer’s failed £69.4bn bid for AstraZeneca
Sir Andrew refuses to discuss the China case in detail other than to declare his determination to stamp out any corruption. But he says it has helped him drive home to employees the need for greater transparency. “It gives me the ammunition to say we are in the public eye and our behaviour counts. It’s not just about generating prescriptions; it’s how you do it.”