Sykes reshuffles Glaxo boardroom

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SIR RICHARD Sykes has consolidated his position as chief executive of Glaxo, the drug group, with a board-level reshuffle.

The shake-up will free him to concentrate on corporate activities - Glaxo is formulating its reponse to the changed US healthcare market and is said to be planning a large acquisition there.

Sir Paul Girolami, Glaxo's chairman, who plans to retire in November, ceased to have any executive responsibilities at the group from the end of June. Sir Richard is deputy-chairman as well as chief executive. A non- executive chairman to replace Sir Paul has yet to be named.

Sir Richard has radically rejigged the responsibilities of a number of senior executives with effect from 1 August.

The key change is that Dr Franz Humer, chief operating director, will assume responsibility for Glaxo's research and development activities, as well as its technical directorate (responsible for manufacturing and quality assurance) and for its Latin American markets. This will relieve Sir Richard, who was previously responsible for research and development.

In addition, Sean Lance becomes responsible for Glaxo's operations in Europe. Neil Maidment will look after Asia Pacific, Africa, and the Middle East. Robert Ingram, will take care of the US and Canada and Hiroshi Konishi, executive director, of Japan. With John Coombe, finance director, and Jeremy Strachan, legal and corporate affairs director, they will report to Sir Richard.