GSK fires former US vaccine chief Moncef Slaoui for harassment | GlaxoSmithKline

 GSK fires former US vaccine chief Moncef Slaoui for harassment |  GlaxoSmithKline

GSK fired former research director Moncef Slaoui, who became US national vaccine chief under Donald Trump, after an independent investigation found he sexually harassed one of its employees.

GSK said it has ended Slaoui’s role at Galvani Bioelectronics, a joint venture majority owned by GSK, with immediate effect. Slaoui had until January directed the American vaccination program Operation Warp Speed.

His dismay came after an investigation by Washington-based law firm Morgan Lewis, which received a warrant in February after GSK executives received a letter containing allegations of sexual harassment and improper conduct towards an employee of Slaoui. The misconduct allegedly took place several years ago. “The investigation into Dr Slaoui’s conduct has corroborated the allegations and is ongoing,” the cabinet said.

The scientist, who led research at GSK for many years and also chaired its vaccine department until 2017, gave his name to the Slaoui Center for Vaccines Research in Rockville, Maryland. GSK has said it will rename the facility and also review Slaoui’s stock options, which reportedly grossed £ 10million last year.

Emma Walmsley, GSK’s Managing Director since April 2017, wrote in a letter to employees that she was “shocked and angry” but also “steadfast”.

“Protecting the woman who came forward and her privacy has been a key priority throughout this time,” she wrote. “This will continue. I respect and admire his courage and strength. I’ve spent many nights lately putting myself in his shoes. More than anything, this just shouldn’t have happened. “

“I want to be clear that sexual harassment is strictly prohibited and will not be tolerated,” she added. “Abuse of leadership in any form will not be tolerated.” She said she would speak personally with many of the staff in the coming weeks.

The investigation was conducted by Grace Speights, an associate at Morgan Lewis and head of the company’s labor and employment practice group, known for her work in litigation and investigations within organizations as a result of the #MeToo movement.

Born in Morocco, Slaoui, 61, joined GSK as a drug discovery scientist in 1988. He was a member of the GSK board of directors for 11 years, until 2017, when he was appointed president of Galvani.

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In February, after leaving Operation Warp Speed, he joined the American biotech company Centessa Pharmaceuticals, created from 10 startups, to lead its research division.

In a statement, GSK said: “Dr Slaoui’s behavior is totally unacceptable. They represent an abuse of his leadership position, violate company policies and run counter to the strong values ​​that define GSK’s culture. The company expects everyone at GSK to behave in accordance with its values, especially its leaders where its standards are the highest. “

Slaoui has been contacted for comment.


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