News story

Andrew Witty appointed as BIS Lead Non-Executive Board Member

Andrew Witty, the chief executive of GlaxoSmithKline, will take up his position on the new Departmental Board from 1 January 2011. The Board…

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Andrew Witty, the chief executive of GlaxoSmithKline, will take up his position on the new Departmental Board from 1 January 2011. The Board will form the collective strategic and operational leadership of the Department and will focus on performance and delivery.

Non-Executive Board Members are experts from outside Government who assist in the delivery of policy using relevant experience from business. The new Board will be a forum where political and official leadership is brought together to drive up performance.

Vince Cable said:

“I’ve always said that I want Britain to be open for business and for BIS to be the Department for growth. Andrew’s wealth of experience in business will be invaluable to making sure that that’s exactly what happens.

“Andrew’s perspective on what works for businesses and the implications that policies will have on them will be a useful litmus test for our policy makers to see what will happen on the ground before we take a specific course of action.”

Andrew Witty said:

“I am delighted to have been asked to take on this role. I look forward to working with BIS and the Secretary of State to build on the UK economy’s many strengths to deliver long term sustainable economic growth.”

Notes to Editors

  1. Andrew Witty became CEO of GSK on 21st May 2008.

Andrew joined Glaxo in 1985 and held a variety of roles in the UK business.

He has worked in the Company’s International New Products groups, both in the Respiratory and HIV/Infectious disease fields and has been involved in multiple new product development programmes.

He then worked in South Africa and the USA prior to moving to Singapore where he led the Group’s operations as Senior Vice President, Asia Pacific. While in Singapore Andrew was a Board Member of the Singapore Economic Development Board, the Singapore Land Authority and in 2003 was awarded the Public Service Medal by the Government of Singapore.

In 2003 Andrew was appointed President of GSK Europe and joined GSK’s Corporate Executive Team.

Andrew has served in numerous advisory roles to Governments around the world including South Africa, Singapore, Guangzhou China and the UK and is on the Board of INSEAD.

Andrew is President of the European Federation of Pharmaceuticals Industries and Associations (EFPIA), a position he took up on 1 January 2010.

Andrew has a Joint Honours BA in Economics from the University of Nottingham.

  1. Mr Witty has declined remuneration for his role as lead non-executive board member.

  2. Mr Witty has been advised that, to avoid any potential conflict of interest, he will not see papers or be involved in discussions relating to pharmaceutical issues.

  3. The key responsibilities of Non-Executive Board Members are:

  • To give advice on the operational/delivery implications of policy proposals
  • To provide independent support, guidance and challenge on the progress and implementation of the business plan
  • To provide management advice to the Permanent Secretary
  • To be available to advise Ministers on operational issues and performance
  • To form a Remuneration Committee to advise on the bonus structure for the department
  • To form a Risk and Audit Committee
  • To attend occasional government-wide non-execs meetings
  • To be involved in the recruitment and appraisal of senior executives, and succession planning
  • To determine, together with the Finance Director, a limited number of Key Performance Indicators for the department as a basis for monitoring progress

In addition to this, the Lead Non-Executive Board Member will:

  • Meet regularly with other non-execs
  • Ensure that the Secretary of State is aware of any concerns
  • Support the Secretary of State in his or her role as chairman of the board
  • Ensure that the non-execs meet alone with the Secretary of State from time to time
  • Liaise with the government-wide lead non-exec (Lord Browne)
  1. BIS’ online newsroom contains the latest press notices, speeches, as well as video and images for download. It also features an up to date list of BIS press office contacts. See for more information.

Notes to Editors

Contact Information

Name BIS Press Office Job Title

Division COI Phone




Name Nick Evans Job Title

Division Department for Business, Innovation and Skills Phone 020 7215 3496 Fax



Published 16 December 2010