Behind the scenes of GSK's overhaul

Outgoing GlaxoSmithKline CEO Jean-Paul Garnier is shouldering the heavy load of layoffs and restructuring to give his successor Andrew Witty (photo) a clean slate when he takes over next May, the Times of London is reporting. "I did not want the new chief executive to start with this project," Garnier said.

The story includes some behind-the-scenes nuggets about the restructuring plan, too. For instance, each sales person at Glaxo costs up to $200,000 annually, including salary, and produces on average $2 million in sales. Internal trials showed that fewer sales people could sell more each--so the sales force of 24,000 is likely to sustain a sizable portion of the thousands of job cuts expected. Garnier also says British pharma is suffering from a lack of home-grown scientists. Too much of the industry's science talent comes from Asia--and then goes back to Asia.

- read the report from The Times