GSK installs Learmouth as global comms chief

Europe’s largest pharma firm has named a new global comms chief after Jennie Younger resigned to join Deutsche Bank.

Duncan Learmouth, currently V-P of investor relations, will replace Younger when she leaves GSK at the end of next month after ten years with Europe’s largest pharma company. He will take her role of SV-P of corporate comms and community partnerships.

His promotion leaves GSK on the hunt for a top IR practitioner – a role constantly in the spotlight. GSK was on the Financial Times’ front page only this Monday after more than 3,000 shareholders asked to transfer their ownership into anonymous accounts following pressure from animal-rights extremists.

The company is also gearing up for the launch of important drugs, such as Tykerb for breast cancer, and Cervarix, a vaccine to prevent cervical cancer. It is also considering making an offer for Pfizer’s OTC drugs arm.

GSK is yet to decide how 15-year stalwart Learmouth will be replaced in the investor relations role.

CEO JP Garnier, who faced an unprecedented shareholder backlash over ‘fat-cat’ pay three years ago, said Younger ‘must take credit for driving the improvement in GSK’s reputation’.

She is to join Deutsch Bank as MD and global head of comms and marketing for global banking in July. She joins at an opportune time – just this month the bank unveiled record profits, lauded by CEO Josef Ackermann as ‘outstanding’.

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