Zubair Ahmed to head Glaxo-Novartis’ consumer healthcare JV in Asia-Pac, Africa

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Consumer Healthcare has named Zubair Ahmed as head of Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa for its proposed global joint venture with pharma major Novartis.

Ahmed, a veteran of FMCG industry, currently serves as a senior vice president Indian sub-continent (India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh) for GSK Consumer Healthcare and is also the managing director of GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare Ltd (GSKCH), the consumer products subsidiary of UK-based GlaxoSmithKline Plc.

He will continue as the chief of GSKCH, one of the two public listed arms of GSK in India, as per a stock market disclosure.

In April this year, GSK and Novartis agreed to form a global consumer healthcare JV in which GSK will own majority stake. The transaction is expected to be completed in the first half of 2015 following which Ahmed will take over the proposed role.

In the new role, Ahmed will be responsible for overseeing operations in Asia Pacific, including China, Japan, Australia and New Zealand, Middle East (including Turkey, Iran and Pakistan) and Africa, in addition to the Indian sub-continent business.

“I am delighted to announce Zubair’s designate role in the proposed new structure. His business acumen, people management skills and sharp understanding of these markets will help us in our goal to accelerate growth across our emerging markets business,” Emma Walmsley, president, GSK Consumer Healthcare, said in the statement.

The company is yet to announce the organisational structure of the proposed JV under the leadership of Ahmed.

Ahmed had joined GSK Consumer Healthcare in 2007 and has led the company, which has since then tripled the revenue for the Indian continent business, the statement said. In the fiscal ended on March 2014, the company GSKCH reported revenue of Rs 4,868.58 crore.

Prior to joining GSK, Ahmed – who has an experience of over 17 years in sales, marketing and general management in various companies – was working with Gillette India Limited as managing director.

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