AS chief executive of GlaxoSmithKline for eight years, Jean-Pierre Garnier, known as JP in the industry, is no stranger to activist shareholders.
In 2003 he became the target of Glaxo investors’ wrath over his pay award, in one of the biggest shareholder rebellions in UK corporate history.
Despite Glaxo’s profits falling by a quarter, Garnier’s pay was set to rise to up to £19m from £6m in 2002. He was also to be made eligible for an £18.3m golden parachute if he lost his job.
Amid angry protests, more than half the shareholders rejected the remuneration report. It was just one episode in an combative career. Garnier oversaw court cases suing developing countries for using cheap generic versions of anti-AIDS drugs, and led the firm through protests over animal testing and product scares.
Post-Glaxo, Garnier until last September headed French firm Pierre Fabre Labs.