SKB chief housed at Grosvenor

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The Independent Online
Jan Leschly, the chief executive of SmithKline Beecham, spent nearly five months last year at one of the Grosvenor House Hotel's luxury pounds 44,000- a-year apartments as he prepared to relocate to the US.

Mr Leschly listed apartment 138, 86-90 Park Lane, which is owned by Forte, as his usual residential address in the 1995 SKB annual return.

Built in the heart of Mayfair between 1927 and 1929, each apartment offers a suite of spacious rooms and access to all the luxury facilities available to hotel guests. Beecham used to keep three apartments at the Grosvenor House Hotel and SKB has kept one since the two groups merged.

SmithKline says Mr Leschly stayed in apartment 138, described as the company's corporate apartment, from 26 August 1994 until 10 January 1995 after selling his residence in Marlow, Buckinghamshire.

A spokesman said he did not have exclusive use of the apartment at the time and added that he made a personal contribution to the costs that was assessed and approved by the company's accountants. "He used it as a home address and paid rent accordingly," a company spokesman said.

Mr Leschly, a former Wimbledon semi-finalist, was paid pounds 2.47m in 1994 in salary and bonus compared with pounds 1.9m in the previous year. This included an amount, said to be pounds 800,000, for relocation expenses. In addition, he made a paper profit on his share options of more than pounds 650,000.

Mr Leschly, who joined the company as chairman of pharmaceuticals in June 1990, now lists as his address a two-storey home in Hopewell, New Jersey, the value of which is assessed at about pounds 875,000. He relocated last year. He bought the home before moving to the UK.

A company spokesman said the payment he received was to compensate for losses incurred on the sale of his UK home.