GlaxoSmithKline to name Sir Philip Hampton chair

Oliver Smith
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Hampton is expected to have to give up his job as RBS chairman to take on the role at GSK
SHARES in pharmaceutical giant Glaxo­SmithKline (GSK) rose slightly in late afternoon trading yesterday after it emerged that Sir Philip Hampton was likely to be named as its new chairman.

GSK is likely to announce Hamp­ton’s move in the next two days – and with such a large job he is expected to eventually give up his role as chairman of The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS).

However, it is thought Hampton would join GSK’s board as non-executive director towards the end of the year, taking over from current chairman Sir Christopher Gent in early summer.

First reported by Sky News, the news comes just days after GSK was fined £300m by Chinese authorities for bribery on Friday.

The company has had a challenging few months in the country, with several senior executives accused of bribery.

Shares in the company have also fallen some 11.3 per cent over the past year.

Alongside its problems in China, in July it issued a profit warning after its respiratory arm struggled to main­tain its dominance in the market.

Hampton is no stranger to fire-fighting: he was parachuted into RBS alongside former chief executive Stephen Hester in 2009 to help turn around the bank.

Since then, it has radically restructured, shrinking the size of its investment arm in favour of a greater focus on retail banking.

Although the bank, which is 81 per cent owned by the taxpayer, has yet to be re-privatised, earlier this year it posted results showing pre-tax profits are likely to double to £2.65bn in the first half of the year.

GSK declined to comment on Hampton, but said that: “succession planning for the chairman is well underway”.

Shares closed up 0.46 per cent at 1,428.5p, having traded as high as 1,428p earlier in the day.

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