Leschly: Tough competitor at work and play
Wednesday 21 January 1998
The 57-year-old chief executive of SmithKline Beecham was ranked tenth in the world at tennis 30 years ago. He played 16 consecutive Wimbledon tournaments and was a regular choice for his native Denmark in the Davis Cup.
Mr Leschly works at business like he played tennis: to win. Outspoken and fiercely competitive, he has been deeply influenced by the US where he now officially lives with his family.
Although educated with a pharmacy degree and MBA from university in Copenhagen, Mr Leschly joined the US-based pharmaceutical group, Squibb Corporation, where he quickly climbed the corporate ladder.
In 1990, Mr Leschly took his American-style openness and keen sense of humour to SB as chairman of the group's worldwide pharmaceutical business. His enormous reserves of energy were used by the then group chief executive, Bob Bauman, to help weld together the still disparate pieces of the recently merged SmithKline and Beecham companies.
Mr Leschly succeeded Mr Bauman in April 1994 and immediately embarked on a whirlwind of activity. In a single year he completed either the sale or purchase of assets worth $10bn (pounds 6.1bn).
Now based in Philadelphia and also on the board of American Express, Mr Leschly has attracted little but praise for his strong corporate leadership. The only real carping has surrounded the size of his pay packet: he earned more than pounds 2m in 1996 which included a pounds 1.2m bonus.
Co-operative in management style, Mr Leschly nevertheless likes to lead from the front. As one colleague remarked: "It probably comes from being the nephew of two Danish generals."
Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes
- 2 Why I'm on the brink of burning my Israeli passport
- 4 War is war: Why I stand with Israel
- 5 Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Ian Thorpe gay: Olympic swimmer comes out in Parkinson interview
Stephen Fry ‘criticises Operation Yewtree in dinner party rant’ calling for tougher laws to deter false sex abuse allegations
Israel-Gaza conflict: ‘Sderot cinema’ image shows Israelis with popcorn and chairs 'cheering as missiles strike Palestinian targets'
Israel-Gaza conflict: Israeli air strike destroys home for the disabled killing two women residents
Israel-Gaza conflict: Israeli PM says conflict may 'continue for a long time' as hundreds of Palestinians flee their homes
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
War is war: Why I stand with Israel
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’
Emergency data law: David Cameron plots to bring back snoopers’ charter
NUT strike: David Cameron announces crackdown on strike action ahead of mass industrial action
iJobs Money & Business
£70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Information Security Manager (ISO 27001, A...
£75000 - £85000 per annum + ex bens: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: Biztalk Te...
£60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Trade Desk Specialist (FIX, Linux, Windows...
£35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Service Desk Analyst (Windows, Active Dire...