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ABPI appoints Mike Thompson as new chief executive

Published on: 11/02/16

The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) has appointed former GlaxoSmithKline executive Mike Thompson as its new chief executive from March 1, 2016.

He takes over from Alison Clough, who served as acting chief executive for much of 2015, and continued in the role after the official departure of Stephen Whitehead in October 2015.

The Association describes Thompson as “a strategically minded leader who has worked across multiple sectors including pharmaceuticals, food, drinks, toiletries and Government agencies.”

Thompson departed GSK at the end of 2015, after 20 years with the company, most recently as senior vice president of Global Commercial Strategy and Platforms, where he led teams of experts in areas such as multi-channe​l, payers, market research and analytics. In addition, he gained experience in working to support colleagues in research and development to bring new medicines to launch.

His experience prior to this includes seven years as the Commercial Strategy Head for Europe and before that, 10 years in the UK Operating Company in a variety of senior sales and marketing roles. Thompson also worked for Unilever’s food and toiletries divisions as a UK marketing director.

Commenting on the appointment, ABPI president John Kearney says: "As president, I am looking forward to working with Mike and am convinced that his deep knowledge of our industry, his passion for what we do and his strategic capabilities will be huge assets for the ABPI as we look to build on the progress we have made in recent years. Amidst unrelenting and escalating pressure, our industry is making strong progress, putting patient access to our innovative medicines at the heart of what we do.

"I also wish to recognise and thank the outgoing acting CEO, Alison Clough, for her outstanding commitment and contribution over the last 12 months ensuring the ABPI remains firmly at the forefront of the UK Life Sciences sector and creating a solid foundation on which Mike can build."

Incoming chief executive Mike Thompson says: "The pharmaceutical industry has an outstanding track record of delivering real innovation to both the NHS and to patients. Our significant role within life sciences also helps underpin the UK's position as a scientific superpower. Yet current trends show real challenges in sustaining these benefits across the UK today.

"So whilst enormously proud to take up this leadership role, I also take it up with a real commitment to work with all stakeholders to reverse these trends and ensure that everyone can access the multi-faceted benefits which accrue through the impact of this critical, research-based, innovative, industry."

ABPI Mike Thompson

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