GlaxoSmithKline plc appoints Jonathan Symonds as Non-Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors

Issued: London, UK

GlaxoSmithKline plc (GSK) today announced that Jonathan Symonds will succeed Sir Philip Hampton as Non-Executive Chairman of the GSK Board with effect from 1st September 2019.

Jonathan is currently Deputy Group Chairman of HSBC Holdings plc and has been an independent non-executive Director of HSBC since April 2014. He is a former Chief Financial Officer of Novartis AG and AstraZeneca plc, and has been a non-executive Director of Diageo plc and QinetiQ plc. He is currently non-executive Chairman of Proteus Digital Health Inc, a non-executive director of Rubius Therapeutics Inc and Chairman of Genomics England Limited.

The appointment was approved by the Board and follows a thorough succession process undertaken by the Nominations Committee, led by Vindi Banga, the company’s Senior Independent Director (SID), in which all the Non-Executive Directors participated. 

Vindi Banga said: “Jon has exceptional experience in life sciences, and in the financial management and governance of major, global companies. Throughout his career he has demonstrated a passion for science, and is known for his integrity and professionalism. We are delighted that Jon will lead the Board through this next phase for GSK, and we look forward to him joining in September.”

Jonathan Symonds said: “I am delighted to be joining GSK, at what is a really important time for the company as it seeks to create value from its new R&D approach, and to create two, new world-leading companies, one focussed on Pharmaceuticals and Vaccines, the other on Consumer Healthcare.”

Victoria Whyte

Company Secretary

24 July 2019



  1. The appointment of Jonathan Symonds was made by the Board on the recommendation of the Nominations Committee which was chaired by Vindi Banga, GSK’s Senior Independent Non-Executive Director. The Committee comprises: Vindi Banga, Judy Lewent, Lynn Elsenhans, and Urs Rohner and is chaired by Philip Hampton. However, in accordance with good governance Philip Hampton did not participate in this process. Other Non-Executive Directors, who are not members of the Committee also participated in the succession process.
  1. The Board determined that Jonathan Symonds is an independent Non-Executive Director on appointment in accordance with the UK Corporate Governance Code.
  1. The Remuneration Committee agreed Jonathan Symonds fees. He will receive total fees of £700,000 per annum comprising £525,000 in cash together with GSK Ordinary Shares to the value of £175,000. 
  1. In addition to being Chairman, Jonathan Symonds will also Chair the company’s Nominations Committee.
  1. Jonathan Symonds does not have a service contract. He has a letter of appointment which may be viewed by contacting the Company Secretary at the Company’s registered office.
  1. Once he becomes Chairman, he will be based at GSK’s registered office at 980 Great West Road, Brentford, Middlesex, TW8 9GS. 
  1. HSBC Holdings plc has announced that Jonathan Symonds will retire as Non-Executive Director on 18th February 2020.
  1. There are no additional details to disclose under the Listing Rule of 9.6.13R in respect of the appointment of Jonathan Symonds.
  1. Sir Philip Hampton will retire from the Board on 31st August 2019. 
  1. From 1st September 2019 the Board of GSK will comprise:

Mr Jonathan Symonds

Non-Executive Chairman

Ms Emma Walmsley

Chief Executive Officer

Mr Iain Mackay

Chief Financial Officer

Dr Hal Barron

Chief Scientific Officer and President, R&D

Mr Vindi Banga

Senior Independent Non-Executive Director

Dr Vivienne Cox

Independent Non-Executive Director

Ms Lynn Elsenhans

Independent Non-Executive Director

Dr Jesse Goodman

Independent Non-Executive Director

Dr Laurie Glimcher

Independent Non-Executive Director

Ms Judy Lewent

Independent Non-Executive Director

Mr Urs Rohner

Independent Non-Executive Director


About GSK

GSK is a science-led global healthcare company with a special purpose: to help people do more, feel better, live longer.

Cautionary statement regarding forward-looking statements

GSK cautions investors that any forward-looking statements or projections made by GSK, including those made in this announcement, are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. Such factors include, but are not limited to, those described under Item 3.D 'Principal risks and uncertainties' in the company's Annual Report on Form 20-F for 2018.