GSK exec to head rival drugmaker

Where, oh where could Chris Viehbacher (photo) be going? Place your bets now, folks, because the Financial Times reports that Viehbacher is leaving GlaxoSmithKline, where he heads up North American operations, to take the reins of another pharmaceutical group.

Complicating factor: According to GSK's 2007 proxy, Viehbacher has a 12-month noncompete clause in his contract with the company. But in negotiating his exit, Glaxo has been focusing on preventing a follow-the-leader exodus, the FT reports. The company may let Viehbacher go to a competitor, but it doesn't want him to recruit anybody to join his new team.

As you know, Viehbacher was one of three execs in a horse race to take the CEO slot when Jean-Pierre Garnier retired. Andrew Witty (photo), of course, won that race and took over this spring. David Stout (photo), the other candidate, left the company to go into semi-retirement, but Viehbacher stuck around with a seat on the board and a $5 million retention package. Now he's quit, too, leaving Witty with a depleted slate of experienced GSK executives.

- read the Financial Times article

Update:
GSK's Viehbacher picked as Sanofi CEO

Suggested Articles

Alnylam is ready to follow on its Onpattro launch with an FDA nod for Givlaari. But the drug's safety profile is giving analysts reason to pause.

FDA nominee Stephen Hahn faced questions from Senators on Wednesday on topics including drug pricing, biosimilars, opioids and more.

BMS’ Opdivo-Yervoy combo been game-changing in late-stage melanoma. But when it comes to expanding the pair’s reach, the company has hit a roadblock.