GSK names McNamara to lead forthcoming independent consumer healthcare company

As GSK prepares for a demerger that will create an independent consumer healthcare business, GSK Consumer Healthcare CEO Brian McNamara has been named CEO designate of the forthcoming company.
David Salazar
Managing Editor
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GSK’s board is looking to GSK Consumer Healthcare CEO Brian McNamara to lead an independent, listed company that will be formed by a planned demerger of the consumer healthcare business from GSK in 2022. 

McNamara is now CEO designate of the company, whose formation was laid out on June 23. The company plans to separate the consumer health arm of its business via a demerger of at least 80% of its holding to shareholders, with plans to list the new independent company on the London Stock Exchange. 

Brian McNamara wearing a suit and tie smiling at the camera

“We are delighted to announce Brian’s appointment to lead the proposed new consumer healthcare company, following a thorough process conducted by the board. Brian is an exceptional leader, and through two global integrations, has successfully transformed GSK Consumer Healthcare into a category-leading business,” GSK chairman Sir Jonathan Symonds said. “His strong track record of success and deep experience of fast-moving consumer goods and consumer health, proven at P&G, Novartis and GSK, means he is the right choice to unlock the potential of Consumer Healthcare as an independent company and deliver its strong prospects for sustainable sales and profit growth, high cash generation and attractive returns for shareholders.”

McNamara has been with GSK since 2015, joining the company from his role as head of Novartis’ OTC division. He was a driving force between GSK’s joint venture with Novartis and the more recent joint venture with Pfizer to create their combined consumer healthcare business. He began his career at Procter & Gamble, where he worked for 16 years across product supply, brand marketing and customer leadership before joining Novartis in 2004. 

“I am honored to have this opportunity,” McNamara said. “Together with the many talented people we have in our business, I am looking forward to our exciting future as an independent company. I am confident we are well-positioned for growth, building on our brands and innovation, with leading-edge science and human understanding, to deliver better everyday health.” 

The company noted that it would be preparing two separate boards for when the companies separate, adding that plans to hold a formal appointment process for a chair and to form a board for the new company are underway. GSK expects to appoint a chair by the second half of 2021.