Chutes & Ladders: Emma Walmsley will be the new CEO at GSK


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Welcome to this week's Chutes and Ladders, our roundup of hirings, firings and retirings throughout the industry. Please send the good word--or the bad--from your shop to Michael Gibney (email) or Eric Sagonowsky (email) and we will feature it here at the end of each week.

Emma Walmsley will be the new CEO at GSK

GlaxoSmithKline has named its next CEO, and it’s breaking new ground in the process. Emma Walmsley, who heads up GSK’s consumer health business, will become the first woman to take the helm at a Big Pharma company. Walmsley will move into her new job in March, when current chief Andrew Witty retires, but will join the GSK board as of Jan. 1, the company said on Tuesday. Coming from GSK’s consumer division, Walmsley joins a wave of pharma chiefs with backgrounds in commercial functions, and, in a few cases, consumer goods. Before joining Glaxo, Walmsley headed up L’Oreal’s Chinese consumer business, just as, before her, CEO Joe Jimenez came to Novartis from Heinz. More from FiercePharma

John Ratliff takes top job at LabCorp’s Covance unit


Medical testing company LabCorp, after buying up NJ-headquartered CRO Covance in a deal worth just over $6 billion last year, has now decided on a full-time CEO for its new drug development unit. The acquisitive company said in a statement that it has chosen John Ratliff to be its leader of Covance. Ratliff spent 10 years at major CRO Quintiles as its CFO, COO and then president and COO, before becoming more recently the president and CEO of HUYA Bioscience. FierceCRO story

Alnylam hires Yvonne Greenstreet as executive vice president and chief operating officer

Alnylam Pharmaceuticals
Yvonne Greenstreet 
will be the new executive vice president and chief operating officer. “It’s a pleasure to join the team at Alnylam at such an important time in the company’s evolution, where RNAi therapeutics are advancing toward commercial stages,” said Dr. Greenstreet. “Alnylam’s pipeline is one of the most exciting in the industry, and I’m thrilled to be part of a team pioneering new medicines to meet unmet needs for patients. This is a vitally important mission where I believe I can add significant value.” Release