Chairman Hampton departs Glaxo ahead of break-up

GlaxoSmithKline chairman Philip Hampton is to step down from the drugmaker, just a month after the firm fired the starting gun on its break-up.

The pharmaceutical giant said on Monday that Mr Hampton, who was appointed non-executive chairman in 2015, has “informed the board of his intention to step down” and the search for his successor has begun.

In December, Glaxo agreed a tie-up with US rival Pfizer to merge their consumer healthcare divisions to create a business with combined sales of £9.8 billion.

The deal paves the way for a break-up of Glaxo into two separate UK-based companies – one focused on pharmaceuticals and vaccines, and the other on consumer healthcare – within three years of the completing joint venture.

Mr Hampton said on Monday: “Following the announcement of our deal with Pfizer Inc and the intended separation of the new consumer business, I believe this is the right moment to step down and allow a new chair to oversee this process through to its conclusion over the next few years and to lead the board into this next phase.”

No date for Mr Hampton’s departure was given.

Under terms of the all-share deal, Glaxo will own 68% of the consumer healthcare joint venture, while US firm Pfizer will own the remaining 32% stake.

It will bring together Glaxo’s brands such as Sensodyne, Aquafresh and Panadol with Pfizer’s Advil and Centrum.

The firms are aiming to complete the joint venture in the second half of 2019.

It comes after pressure from shareholders for Glaxo to spin off its consumer division.