Slaoui will return $3.86M to GlaxoSmithKline after his dismissal for sexual harassment

Former Operation Warp Speed chief Moncef Slaoui, who GlaxoSmithKline fired last year because of a sexual harassment claim, is returning (PDF) $3.86 million to the company, according to its annual executive compensation report.

Slaoui, who was chairman of the board of GSK’s Galvani Bioelectronics when he was dismissed in March 2021, agreed to the cash return as the company applied “clawback provisions" under its “recoupment policy.”

The alleged harassment took place several years ago, when Slaoui was chief of vaccines at GSK. A follow-up investigation directed by the company through an external law firm, Morgan Lewis, substantiated the allegation, GSK announced upon his dismissal.

“Dr. Slaoui’s behaviors are wholly unacceptable,” GSK said then in a statement. “They represent an abuse of his leadership position, violate company policies and are contrary to the strong values that define GSK’s culture.”

Slaoui worked at GSK for 30 years, retiring in 2017. In May of 2020, President Donald Trump named Slaoui to manage Operation Warp Speed, the U.S.' effort to develop, produce and deliver vaccines to counter COVID-19.

To take the job and avoid conflict of interest, he resigned from the board at Moderna, which already was one of the companies the government selected to develop the vaccine. He also later resigned from the board at Lonza, which Moderna eventually tapped to manufacture its vaccine.  

Slaoui ran Warp Speed until January of 2021, when new President Joe Biden asked for his resignation. The following month, a female employee at GSK complained of the harassment.

Slaoui made a public apology, saying he felt “terrible” that his actions “put a former colleague in an unfortunate situation.”

At the same time, GSK CEO Emma Walmsley wrote in letter to employees that respecting the privacy of the woman who came forward was a “critical priority.”

“I respect and admire her courage and strength,” Walmsley wrote. “I’ve spent nights lately putting myself in her shoes. More than anything, this simply should not have happened.”

Additionally, GSK announced that it would rename its Slaoui Center for Vaccines Research in Rockville, Maryland.