New GSK CEO to become the most powerful woman in FTSE 100

By Nell Walker
Emma Walmsley is set to become the most powerful woman in the FTSE 100. Within the Financial Times Stock Exchange index of the top 100 UK companies...

Emma Walmsley is set to become the most powerful woman in the FTSE 100.


Within the Financial Times Stock Exchange index of the top 100 UK companies, only five are led by female CEOs - Walmsley will become the sixth when she takes over GlaxoSmithKline from Andrew Witty. While EasyJet, Imperial Brands, Whitbread, Royal Mail, and Kingfisher are run by women, GlaxoSmithKline boasts a market value of £80 billion – over double that of the second-biggest female-led business on the list – making Walmsley by far the most valuable.

Walmsley is currently CEO of the Consumer Healthcare Division. She graduated from Oxford University, and while her background is in marketing rather than science, GSK Chairman Sir Philip Hampton has offered a glowing endorsement of her abilities:

“I am very pleased to announce Emma’s appointment, after what has been a very thorough and rigorous global selection process carried out by the GSK Board of Directors. 

“Emma is an outstanding leader with highly valuable experience of building and running major global businesses and a strong track record of delivering growth and driving performance in healthcare. Under Andrew’s leadership, GSK has successfully developed into a company with market-leading positions in pharmaceuticals, vaccines and consumer healthcare. These provide excellent platforms for sustainable, long-term growth, and we are confident Emma will successfully build on these strengths.”

Witty has run GSK for nearly ten years, and will leave in March. Walmsley has said of her future appointment:

“I am delighted and honoured to be appointed GSK’s next CEO. GSK is a company that leads both in science and in the way it does business. We have momentum in the Group and as the demand for medical innovation and trusted healthcare products continues to rise, we have the opportunity and potential to create meaningful benefits for patients, consumers, and our shareholders. I’m looking forward to working with Andrew and other leaders over the next few months to ensure a smooth handover and develop plans for 2017 and beyond.”


Follow @ManufacturingGL and @NellWalkerMG


Featured Articles

Manufacturing LIVE heads to Chicago in 2025

Manufacturing LIVE expands into in-person events, heading to the US with its sister events P&SC LIVE and Sustainability LIVE

What to see and do at GSMA MWC Shanghai 2024

At the 2024 GSMA MWC in Shanghai, guests will learn more about the future of 5G and IoT, as well as the role of mobile connectivity in manufacturing

EV Recycling Driven By Tata Steel, Nucor and Dowa Holdings

Market projected growth for EV recycling set to go from US$551bn in 2024 to US$768bn by 2029 with Tata Steel and Nucor embracing ferrous metal recycling

Brooke Weddle: Manufacturing Needs A Rebrand

Production & Operations

Immensa and Intaj Suhar partner to boost Omani manufacturing

Procurement & Supply Chain

Bain & Company Report: OEMs and Digital Transformation

Smart Manufacturing