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GSK snatches AZ Europe VP to replace exiting global head of pharma

Published on 19/01/17 at 10:20am

GlaxoSmithKline has announced that its global head of pharmaceuticals Abbas Hussain (pictured) is leaving the company; the vacated role will then be filled by AstraZeneca’s vice president of European business Luke Miels.

Hussain was seen as a possible successor in the race to replace chief executive Andrew Witty, who steps down in March this year. Instead the position was awarded to Emma Walmsley, head of GSK’s consumer health division.

Witty himself commented: "Succession processes are challenging for everyone involved and, unfortunately, it is rare that all of those involved stay with the company."

The loss of Miels meanwhile is the latest in a string of losses for AstraZeneca over the past 18 months after its oncology head Mondher Mahjoubi defected to Innate Pharma in December last year. Miels was instrumental in the launch of the company’s immunotherapy drug Tagrisso, which scored big in Phase 3 trials late last year, as well as growing key portfolios such as Brilinta.

Matt Fellows

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