GSK Appoint Tony Wood as Chief Scientific Officer


GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has announced its plans to appoint Tony Wood as chief scientific officer (CSO) designate. The appointment will see Wood take full responsibility for research and development across GSK's pipeline and portfolio, beginning on 1 August 2022.

Wood will succeed Dr Hal Barron as CSO. Barron will continue to serve as a board member on GSK's Science Committee for an initial three-year period.

Wood joined GSK in 2017 after serving at Pfizer and accepted the role of GSK's senior vice president of medicinal science and technology, where he was in charge of overseeing all science and technology platforms supporting the discovery, clinical development and delivery of new medicines across the company.

With over 30 years of experience, Wood is a leading scientist and has been referred to as one of the world's pre-eminent chemists, delivering innovative medicines across a variety of R&D fields. Wood has led large-scale programmes, working with global companies in pursuit of drug discovery and development in many different therapy disciplines. These have included oncology, immunology and infectious disease research.

Commenting on his new position, Wood said: “I am honoured to have been asked to lead GSK's R&D. In the past few years, under Hal's leadership, we have made enormous progress to strengthen the pipeline and put in place an R&D approach that can improve the efficiency and success of medicine and vaccine development.”

Wood's work at GSK has encompassed a variety of new medicine launches, including Jemperli, Cabenuva, Nucala and Blenrep, as well as the recent launch of Xevudy. Wood has been a crucial part of GSK's R&D improvements regarding productivity, providing focused leadership on immune system developments, human genetics and advanced technologies. He has been recognised for his contributions to furthering building capabilities in functional genomics, AI and machine learning.

CEO of GSK, Emma Walmsley said: “We are delighted to appoint Tony as our next CSO. He is an outstanding scientist who is highly respected inside and outside GSK. Tony has been a key partner to Hal in delivering our R&D approach and with his experience and expertise across science, data and new technologies, he is perfectly placed to build on Hal's outstanding progress and to deliver value from our pipeline.”

Walmsley added that the recent changes to GSK's senior leadership provide “a clear pathway for continued momentum in R&D to deliver our new ambitions for growth and scale impact for patients”.

Dr Barron, GSK's current CSO said: “Tony will be an outstanding Chief Scientific Officer for GSK. I have worked closely with him for several years. I know him as a person and scientist of the highest quality. I'm very excited to remain part of GSK and to play a significant role within the company as I transition to a non-executive board member and support Tony and the team to deliver on the promise of our pipeline.”

Barron will receive his own new appointment as a non-executive director, while assuming additional responsibilities in providing scientific and asset development affairs, in tandem with work in the wider scientific community and supporting R&D to other companies on behalf of GSK. In addition to his non-executive position at GSK, Barron will assume the role of CEO and board co-chair of the private biotechnology company Altos Labs. This role is also due to commence on 1 August 2022.