Longtime GlaxoSmithKline CFO Dingemans, following his C-suite peers, heads for the exit

dingemans
GlaxoSmithKline CFO Simon Dingemans will retire next May. (GlaxoSmithKline)

GlaxoSmithKline CEO Emma Walmsley has hired more than a few new executives since taking the baton from Andrew Witty. And now, she’ll have the opportunity to fill another big slot.

Wednesday, GSK said CFO Simon Dingemans would retire from the British drugmaker and step down from its board next May. The company is now kicking off a “thorough, global search”—both internal and external—to find his replacement.

Dingemans, who joined Glaxo from Goldman Sachs, has been with the company since 2011, overseeing the Big Pharma’s multibillion-dollar asset swap with Novartis in 2015. He’s also been helping Walmsley craft the company’s new strategy since she took the helm last March.

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“Since joining GSK, Simon has played a very significant role in shaping the company. He has taken a consistent and sustained approach to support investment and improve operational efficiencies in all three of our global businesses,” Walmsley said in a statement, highlighting his “support and partnership” and “his counsel to me.”

Walmsley, who took over from Andrew Witty when he retired last year, replaced 40% of GSK’s top management team within her first 9 months in the top spot. So far, her most high-profile hires have included Roche veteran Hal Barron for R&D chief and former AstraZeneca executive Luke Miels for pharma head.

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A slew of executive exits at Glaxo has made room for those hires, with several company leaders following Witty out the door. Last November, R&D chief Patrick Vallance took a job with the U.K. government. Earlier that year, top pharma dog Abbas Hussain’s departure made way for Miels. And before that, vaccines chairman Moncef Slaoui and ViiV head Dominique Limet both decided to say their goodbyes.

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With respiratory blockbuster Advair heading toward generic competition and pressure from payers and rivals weighing on other key products, the CFO switch could come at a busy time for Glaxo. The way Dingemans sees it, though, it’s the “right time for me to take this decision.”

“With the new strategy set, we have established strong foundations to deliver improved business and financial performance,” he said in a statement.