GSK announces Dr Vishal Sikka to join the Board as Non-Executive Director

GlaxoSmithKline plc (LSE/NYSE: GSK) has today announced that Dr Vishal Sikka, founder and CEO of Vianai Systems, will join the Board of the Company as a Non-Executive Director. He will join the Board with effect from the Haleon demerger.

Vishal has a distinguished background in technology and particularly in the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning, which is central to GSK’s approach to R&D. He is the founder and CEO of Vianai Systems, a Silicon Valley-based company that provides advanced technological software and services in AI and Machine Learning to large enterprises around the world. Prior to founding Vianai Systems, Vishal served as CEO of Infosys and as a member of the Executive Board of SAP SE. Vishal has a PhD in Artificial Intelligence from Stanford University and has co-authored several research abstracts related to AI, technology and database management. He is also currently a Board member of Oracle Corporation and BMW.

Commenting on the appointment, Sir Jonathan Symonds, Chair of GSK said: “I am delighted to welcome Vishal to GSK. He is an experienced board director and an outstanding technologist who has been at the forefront of advanced technologies such as AI and Machine Learning for decades. Harnessing and applying these technologies to the discovery and development of new medicines and vaccines is central to our R&D approach, and Vishal’s insight and expertise will be invaluable as the company accelerates its efforts in this area.”

Vishal’s appointment further strengthens the Board’s expertise and builds on other recent Non-Executive Director appointments, including Dr Harry (Hal) C. Dietz, Professor of Genetic Medicine at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; Charles (Charlie) Bancroft, former Executive Vice President at Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS), and Dr Anne Beal, former instructor in paediatrics at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, and Chief Patient Officer at Sanofi.

A further non-executive appointment, with deep biopharma expertise, is expected in July 2022.


  1.  The appointment of Dr Vishal Sikka was made by the Board on the recommendation of the Nominations & Corporate Governance Committee. The Committee conducted an extensive search and selection process for this appointment, using an external search firm, which is a signatory of the Voluntary Code of Conduct for Executive Search Firms. The external search firm provided a diverse list of candidates who were approached, evaluated and interviewed, against an agreed set of criteria aligned to the Board’s target skills matrix.
  2. The Board has determined that Dr Sikka will be an independent Non-Executive Director on appointment in accordance with the UK Corporate Governance Code.
  3. Dr Sikka will receive the standard basic fee for a Non-Executive Director of £95,000 per annum. (Dr Sikka will be required to invest in GSK shares in accordance with the Company’s shareholder approved Non Executive remuneration policy.)
  4. Membership of other Committees will be announced in due course.
  5. Dr Sikka 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.
  6. There are no further disclosures to be made in respect of Dr Sikka’s appointment under Listing Rule 9.6.13R.

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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 in the Company's Annual Report on Form 20-F for 2021, GSK’s Q1 Results for 2022 and any impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.