GlaxoSmithKline unveils Haleon, the new brand name for its outgoing consumer health unit

CEO, check. Chairman, check. Now, a new name for GlaxoSmithKline's consumer health unit? Also check.

Haleon, pronounced “Hay-Lee-On,” will be GSK Consumer Health’s new name once it spins off from the group and debuts as a standalone company mid-2022, GSK unveiled Tuesday.

The moniker combines blessings of “in good health” and “strength” from the words “Hale” and “Leon,” respectively. 

After snubbing a buyout bid from Unilever and as investor activism calling for an alternative path for the consumer health joint venture with Pfizer quiets down, GSK now looks on track to separate the business through a demerger as laid out last summer.

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Along the way, GSK named current department head Brian McNamara as the new firm’s CEO designate and former Tesco CEO Dave Lewis as the chair designate.

Upon creation, Haleon will be an FTSE-listed consumer health leader with popular over-the-counter products such as multivitamins brand Centrum, anti-inflammatory gel Voltaren and pain reliever Panadol. The entire franchise boasts 2021 sales of 9.6 billion pounds sterling ($13 billion). The business came to be what we know today after integrating consumer portfolios from Novartis and Pfizer.

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Haleon will also have its own headquarters in Weybridge, U.K., which lies about 20 miles southwest of central London. The 120 million pound campus, expected to open at the end of 2024, will be built with an eco-friendly goal in mind. 

As for the future of Haleon, GSK will detail the business’ outlook during a virtual event next Monday.