GSK's Witty speaks small to think big

GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK) CEO Andrew Witty (photo) has denigrated megadeals so often, everyone can quote him--even people who haven't been paying much attention. And we all know his alternate, smaller-is-bigger strategy: Bolt-on acquisitions, carved-apart R&D, and cut-rate prices in emerging markets.

Still, it's all in the details, and Forbes has a new Witty interview focusing on GSK's challenges going forward. The magazine has some complimentary things to say about R&D prospects, and it notes that in addition to smaller prices in the developing world, GSK has cut down the size of packaging, so people don't have to scrape up the money to buy a full month's supply at a time; emerging markets sales have "exploded," Forbes says.

In the wake of 2010's Avandia mess and $750 million subpar-drug settlement, Forbes suggests, Witty may have to focus as much attention on rebuilding the company's reputation as on avoiding big deals. "There is no point in dreaming about being in a different world," Witty tells the magazine. "We have to change."

- read the interview in Forbes
- see the Forbes blog post