GlaxoSmithKline is going to lose another senior manager at the same time as chief executive Andrew Witty

Billy Bambrough
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A number of directors said they will not stand for re-election to the board at the AGM in May (Source: Getty)

GlaxoSmithKline's long serving head of vaccines Moncef Slaoui has announced he will leave the company in 2017.

Slaoui will step down from the board at the end of March 2017, following the companies full year results. He will, however, remain an adviser until the end of June next year.

Slaoui joined GSK in 1988 and became a board member in 2006.

Shares in the company were down 1.1 per cent following the announcement today and have struggled in recent years.

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Earlier this year GSK chief executive Sir Andrew Witty announced he would stand down from the helm of the pharma giant after nearly a decade.

Read more: How Brexit would affect the UK's pharma industry

Witty will retire on 31 March 2017, and it's expected his replacement will be announced before the end of the year.

Glaxo chairman Philip Hampton said:

On behalf of the board, I would like to thank Moncef for his great contribution to the company. He has been personally involved in the discovery and development of some of our most innovative vaccines and spearheaded the overhaul of GSK's pharmaceutical R&D.

In April, GlaxoSmithKline reported sales rose to £6.23bn, up 11 per cent, in the first quarter on last year, generating core earnings per share (EPS) of 19.8 pence.

The UK pharmaceuticals group is in the midst of a turnaround and the latest results may go someway to proving Witty's plan could work out.

Read more: Break-up a bitter pill for Witty

Witty is keen for the company to split its focus between consumer health and new drugs, though some activist investors have claimed it's an inefficient way to run the drug giant and it should be broken up.