When you want to make more deals, what do you do? Hire a big-time dealmaker. That's what GlaxoSmithKline has done: It's bringing on Goldman Sachs M&A exec Simon Dingemans (photo) as its next CFO. He'll join the company as CFO-designate in January and take over the post at the end of March, when current finance chief Julian Heslop retires.
Dingemans' considerable experience with dealmaking doesn't mean that GSK will suddenly become megamerger central, however. CEO Andrew Witty (photo) says in a statement that he's counting on Dingemans for help in growing the company organically, as well as through "bolt-on acquisitions." And analysts agree: "Witty has said he doesn't believe in megamergers and I don't think a new CFO who just happens to have been a banker is going to change this at all," Dominic Valder of Evolution Securities tells Bloomberg.
As head of Goldman's European M&A business, Dingemans has overseen €500 billion ($636 billion) in deals, including the mammoth Vodafone buyout of MannesMann in 2000, the Telegraph reports, notable because GSK chairman Christopher Gent was CEO at Vodafone at the time. He also worked with Novartis on its staged buyout of Nestle's stake in eye care specialist Alcon. And he worked with GSK on establishing its HIV joint venture with Pfizer, ViiV.
Finally, if you're worried that GSK had to pay a premium to entice Dingemans away from his investment-banker paycheck, don't fret. GSK says he'll actually take a pay cut to join up, and his compensation will be set using the same benchmarks as Heslop's.