New Glaxosmithkline chief executive pay package under scrutiny from shareholders

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Emma Walmsley was chosen to succeed Andrew Witty as chief executive (Source: Getty)

Another row over pay at one of Britain’s top companies is brewing, after major shareholders in Glaxosmithkline (GSK) reportedly objected to the high levels of remuneration suggested for the pharmaceutical giant’s new chief executive.

Investors are demanding lower pay for Emma Walmsley, who will start as chief executive on 31 March, according to Sky News.

Witty will retire on 31 March 2017. In 2015 he was paid £6.66m, with a base salary of £1.1m. GSK’s remuneration committee planned to put forward a package just under £1m for Walmsley, Sky News reports.

Read more: GlaxoSmithKline names Emma Walmsley as chief executive

The pay package must satisfy investors at its next annual meeting to avoid another high-profile revolt over heady executive pay.

Walmsley was formerly head of GSK’s consumer healthcare division, but was appointed chief executive designate to succeed Andrew Witty, joining the board of directors at the start of the year.

Walmsley joined GSK in 2010, after working previously at L'Oreal. She oversaw GSK's corporate executive team before taking over the consumer healthcare branch – including control of the Sensodyne toothpaste brand.

GSK is the largest UK-listed firm to appoint a female chief executive, and Walmsley became the seventh woman to be appointed to lead a FTSE 100 company.

GSK did not respond to requests for comment.

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