Glaxo changes the guard at newly bought HGS

GlaxoSmithKline wasted no time pussyfooting around Human Genome Sciences, now that it owns the place. Glaxo swept into its newly acquired company--and swept out almost all of its leadership.

GSK ($GSK) veterans are taking the top three executive spots at HGS, The Washington Post reports. Deirdre Connelly will take the helm as president and CEO, replacing H. Thomas Watkins, who's been running the company since 2004. Connelly has been running Glaxo's North American pharma business.

Adrian Rawcliffe, who's been serving with Connelly as SVP for finance in North America, will take on the CFO job. Daniel Troy, SVP and general counsel, will serve as secretary. Plus, most of HGS' board resigned, and Glaxo tapped its three new executives to serve, as well as four additional directors: Roger Connor, Chester Koczynski, David Redfern and Ian Tomlinson, the Securities and Exchange Commission document notes.

The disclosures came in a SEC filing that closed out Glaxo's tender offer to HGS shareholders. The company agreed to buy HGS earlier this month for $3.6 billion, after months of rejection from the smaller company's executives and board.

Watkins told his staff that his departure was "a necessary and well understood part" of Glaxo's takeover. "I and all of the other members of the HGS senior management team will remain part of HGS through at least the end of August," Watkins said in a letter to employees (as quoted by the Post). "A number of our executive officers will remain involved in the integration process ... possibly through the end of the year."

- read the Post piece