GlaxoSmithKline‘s (NYSE:GSK) has reportedly named former WalMart executive Karenann Terrell as chief digital and technology officer, in a move to integrate digital technology across its pharmaceutical business.
This is among the many choices made by newly appointed chief executive Emma Walmsley to boost GSK’s ability to compete with rival pharma companies. GSK also recently nabbed former AstraZeneca executive, Luke Miels.
Terrell departed from WalMart as chief information officer in February and is slated to join GSK, along with Miels, in September.
“The impact of technology on the healthcare industry is accelerating and requires us to rethink our approach,” Walmsley said in a statement. “As a member of the executive team, Karenann will have the scope to think radically about how we can exploit the latest opportunities and ultimately improve our business performance.”
Walmsley has signaled that she wants to improve the company’s returns by slashing programs that aren’t generating enough profit. As the drugmaker unveiled their second quarter financial results, she outlined a plan to streamline R&D and refocus the company’s research and commercial efforts.
The chief executive announced today that she would ditch more than 30 drug projects and that the company will direct 80% of its R&D budget to efforts in respitory and HIV/infectious disease. She also pointed to oncology and immuno-inflammation as potential areas of interest, according to Reuters.
Thirteen clinical programs got the axe, as well as 20 pre-clinical programs – they will either be stopped, partnered or divested. The company is also evaluating options for its rare disease unit, the newswire reported.
GSK plans to stop selling its diabetes drug, Tanzeum, and will also end a collaboration with Johnson & Johnson over an experimental rheumatoid arthritis drug.
“We’ve been too broadly spread,” Walmsley reportedly told journalists, adding that the company will also divest nearly 130 old drugs.
Britain’s largest drugmaker reported today that it brought in £7.32 billion in sales this quarter ($9.53 billion), growing 12% compared to the same period last year. That beat the Street’s revenue estimates of £7.26 billion ($9.48 billion).
GSK shares were trading at $40.95 in afternoon activity today, down -2.4%.
Material from Reuters was used in this report.