Coombe, who steered the group through the landmark merger of Glaxo Wellcome and Smithkline Beecham in 2001, will retire in March next year.
Sir Christopher Hogg, chairman of GSK, said: ‘The board warmly welcomes Julian Heslop as John Coombe’s successor when John retires next year. In the months until John’s retirement, the board will be working closely with both him and Julian to ensure a smooth transition.’
Heslop, 50, who has been with the group since April 1998, is currently senior vice president, operations controller. Prior to joining Glaxo Wellcome he held senior finance roles at Grand Metropolitan.
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