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Erika Fry,Claire Zillman 2018年10月09日

新任掌门人正在大力整顿这家有着300年历史的老药厂。

Photo-Illustration by Charis Tsevis; Original photographs: Alamy, Getty Images, and GSK

在退葛事件发生之时,艾玛·沃姆斯利才刚刚上任葛兰素史克首席执行官6周的时间,而葛兰素史克是一家年营收额达389亿美元的英国制药公司。

退葛事件并非像英国脱欧这类地缘政治事件那样有着世界影响力,但它对葛兰素史克来说不可谓不重要。知名的英国基金管理人尼尔·伍德福德宣布,他将从葛兰素史克撤股。伍德福德是葛兰素史克最大的股东之一,因规避互联网泡沫,并在全球金融危机中毫发无损而蜚声业界。2017年5月12日,他发表了一篇措辞激烈的批评文章,共958个词,得到了路透社和《每日电讯》等媒体的刊登。在文章中,伍德福德解释了自己为什么决定在投资公司15年之后撤出所有股份。

对他来说,这是“令人失望”的15年;他指责说,葛兰素史克自始至终是一个“拿不出最佳业务策略的医疗巨头”。

伍德福德一直都是葛兰素史克最坦率的批评人士。多年来,他一直大声呼吁按现有的业务部门(制药、疫苗和消费健康)对公司进行拆分。他的依据是,这一策略如今在大型制药公司当中备受推崇,能够通过更加专业化的独立公司来释放股东的价值。葛兰素史克的领导者——最近是前任首席执行官安德鲁·韦提爵士——一直对这一提议持反对态度。他们认为公司的这种抱团经营结构有助于公司的稳定,还能提供一定的协同效应。

但是压垮伍德福德的最后一根稻草似乎是沃姆斯利。他在评论这位新上任的首席执行官时写道:“在上任之前,她便一直热衷于将自己刻画为‘延续性候选人’。”也就是说,基本上不会有什么变化。

沃姆斯利可能不准备抛弃葛兰素史克抱团运作的构架,但从其他所有方面来看,伍德福德对她的定论可谓是大错特错。

首先,让我们看看她的个人情况。她既不是男性也不是科学家,可以算是制药领域的外行人士。她是唯一一位执掌大型创新药企的女性,而且她的职业生涯也并不寻常。这位营销魔术师在欧莱雅工作了17年,于2010年加入葛兰素史克,并从2011年开始掌管公司的消费健康护理业务。

EMMA WALMSLEY was just six weeks into her tenure as CEO of GlaxoSmithKline, the $38.9 billion British pharmaceutical firm, when “Glaxit” happened.

Glaxit was not a world-shaking geopolitical tremor à la Brexit, but for GSK it may have seemed hardly less significant. Neil Woodford, the much celebrated British fund manager—who had gained fame for coming out of the dotcom crash and the global financial crisis unscathed, and one of GSK’s largest shareholders—announced he was quitting the company. In a blistering 958-word critique—published on May 12, 2017, and garnering coverage from Reuters to the Telegraph—Woodford explained why, after 15 years, he was pulling every last pence out of GSK stock.

Those 15 years had been “frustrating” for him; GSK had remained throughout, he charged, “a health care conglomerate with a suboptimal business strategy.”

Woodford had long been one of GSK’s most vocal critics; for years he had clamored for it to break up into its constituent businesses. (The company has pharmaceutical, vaccine, and consumer health divisions.) He argued the gambit, fashionable in Big Pharma these days, would unlock shareholder value through more focused stand-alone companies. GSK’s leaders—most recently former CEO Sir Andrew Witty—had consistently rejected the idea, contending that the firm’s conglomerate structure provided stability and some synergies.

But the last straw for Woodford seemed to be Walmsley. Of the company’s new chief executive, he wrote, “Even before taking her seat she has been keen to portray herself as a ‘continuity candidate.’” In other words, more of the same.

Walmsley may not be ready to ditch GSK’s conglomerate structure, but in almost every other way, Woodford’s description couldn’t be more wrong.

To begin with, there’s who she is. Neither a man nor a scientist, Walmsley is something of an outsider in pharmaland. She’s the only woman to run one of the large innovative drugmakers, and her path was hardly a typical one. A marketing whiz who spent 17 years at L’Oréal, Walmsley joined GSK in 2010 and started running the company’s consumer health care business the following year.

9月,葛兰素史克首席执行官艾玛·沃姆斯利赴巴西玛瑙斯探望了受疟疾感染的病人。Charlie Best—Courtesy of GSK

然后,我们再来看看她的事迹。自2017年4月执掌以来,沃姆斯利(《财富》全球最具影响力的商界女性榜单之首)进行了迅猛的改革。在数个月内,她更换了四成高层管理人员,并叫停了30项医药研发项目和130个品牌,同时宣布了停止销售Tanzeum的计划,该药在三年前才拿到了美国食品及药物管理局的批准。

上任一年期间,她卖掉了罕见病部门,并开始对公司头孢菌素抗生素业务进行战略评估。她集结了一支全明星人才队伍,来充实其高管团队。7月,她向拥有大量数据、直接面向消费者的基因测试公司23andMe注资3亿美元。她制定了新(在葛兰素史克前所未闻)级别的机构卫生制度——在公司三大部门中执行统一的重要绩效指标、雇员标准和策略。沃姆斯利在6月向《财富》杂志透露:“我重新定义工作的方式是:第一,为公司制定策略,然后引导资本向这一策略倾斜,因为如果不把钱投入自己所制定的策略,那它就不是你的策略。”

她还对公司文化进行了大幅度调整:各项会议直切主题,通常以问题开始。“我们为什么要开这个会?”在她担任首席执行官之后的首个采访中,她略显生硬地向《金融时报》透露,在她的掌管下,葛兰素史克的科学家不会在“自己所钟爱的事业中浑噩度日”。

在葛兰素史克,沃姆斯利可谓是纪律和严苛的新代言人。当被问及她的沟通方式与前任韦提有什么不同之处时,一位最近离开公司的高级高管微笑着回答道,两者有着天壤之别。

人们有时会把安德鲁·韦提爵士称为圣人安德鲁。在他担任葛兰素史克掌门的9年间,他因其标新立异的业务策略而赢得人们的尊敬,这类策略试图与大型制药厂最庸俗的趋势反其道而行之:韦提并没有在少数有钱购买高价药的发达国家市场销售天价药品,而是打算在全世界范围内以量取胜——就是以更低的价格销售更多的药品。这类举措也让葛兰素史克经常在医药使用权指数上名列前茅,并让其成为了《财富》2016年“改变世界的公司榜单”的头号公司。该榜单致力于表彰那些通过造福社会而成就自身事业的企业。

韦提还取消了低级、臭名昭著的医药代表销售模式,根据其掌握的技术知识而不是药物销量来支付销售员工薪资。葛兰素史克致力于开发疫苗这一对于公众健康至关重要但利润极低的产品,包括首款于2015年通过、研发耗时30年的疟疾疫苗。

事实上,该策略并非完全是慈善性质。葛兰素史克主要生产呼吸道疾病和艾滋病药物,其革命性的癌症药物或那些罕见病药物——也就是那些价格超过天价的药物——并不是很多。(葛兰素史克为数不多、正在研发的高价基因疗法药物包括一款价格70多万美元的药物,它针对的是免疫紊乱症ADASCID,又称“ 泡泡儿”疾病。作为沃姆斯利业务重聚焦计划的一部分,该部门已于4月出售)

Then, there’s what she’s done. Since taking charge in April 2017, Walmsley, No. 1 on Fortune’s International Power 50 list, has made swift and radical changes. Within months, she had replaced 40% of her top managers and pulled the plug on 30 drug development programs and 130 brands. She announced plans to stop selling Tanzeum, a diabetes drug for which GSK had won FDA approval only three years prior.

Within a year, she sold off the rare-disease unit and initiated a strategic review of the company’s cephalosporins antibiotic business. She assembled a roster of all-star talent to fill out her executive team, and in July she did a $300 million deal with 23andMe, the data-rich direct-to-consumer genetic testing company. She instituted new (and unheard of, at GSK) levels of organizational hygiene—implementing uniform key performance indicators, employee standards, and strategies across GSK’s three businesses. As Walmsley told Fortune in June: “The way I define the job is, firstly, in setting strategy for the company, and then leading the allocation of capital to that strategy—because until you put the money where you say your strategy is, it’s not your strategy.” For the new boss, that means a new commitment to R&D.

She has also embarked on a cultural overhaul: Meetings get straight to the point and often begin with the question, “What are we here for?” In her first interview as CEO, she told the Financial Times, a bit clumsily, that GSK scientists would no longer be “drifting off in hobbyland” under her watch.

Walmsley is the fresh face of discipline and rigor at GSK. When asked how her communication style compared with that of her predecessor Witty, a senior leader who recently left the company chuckled before responding they couldn’t be more different.

Sir Andrew Witty may as well have been called Saint Andrew. By the end of his nine-year tenure as boss of GSK, he’d won admiration for his unorthodox business strategies, which tended to buck the worst trends in Big Pharma: Rather than sell drugs for sky-high prices in the few developed markets that could afford them, Witty declared GSK would pursue volume—selling lots of drugs, at lower prices, all over the world. Such efforts regularly landed GSK atop the virtuous Access to Medicines Index and earned it the No. 1 spot on Fortune’s 2016 Change the World list, which recognizes companies that do well in business by doing good for society.

Witty also dispensed with the notoriously sleazy drug-rep sales model, paying his sales staff according to their technical knowledge rather than by the amount of drugs sold. His company was committed to developing vaccines, those vital but extremely low-margin instruments of public health—including the first-ever vaccine for malaria, approved in 2015, after 30 years of effort.

In truth, the strategy was not purely benevolent. GSK, whose meds are mainly for respiratory conditions and HIV/AIDS, didn’t have a big stable of revolutionary cancer drugs, or those for rare diseases—the sort that had been fetching astronomical prices. (Notably, the handful of pricey gene-therapy drugs GSK did have in its arsenal—including a $700,000-plus drug for an immune disorder called ADASCID or “bubble baby” disease—Walmsley sold off in April, as part of her refocusing campaign.)

Photo-Illustration by Charis Tsevis; Original photographs: Alamy, Getty Images, and GSK

但是在处方药价格高达6位数的时代,投资者没有耐心等待韦提见效缓慢、乐善好施的走量策略。令很多投资者失望的是,这家有着300年历史、饱经风霜的公司似乎在创新药研发方面十分乏力。葛兰素史克的短板可能更多的还是在于营销而不是新药研发。近些年来,公司开发的新药实际上超过了大多数同行,只是这些新药多半输在了商业推广方面。我们可以通过一个显著的数据来直观地了解这个问题:制药部门2016年的营收约相当于其2004年的水平,部分原因在于其医药专利的失效。

2016年3月,葛兰素史克董事会宣布韦提将于2017年离任,并承诺在全球广泛搜索接任人选。9月,他们在公司内部找到了这一合适继任者——当时47岁的沃姆斯利。她还是韦提自己数年前在上海的一次交流会上招入公司的高管。

无论是以往还是现在的同事,他们都说沃姆斯利是完美的人选。葛兰素史克董事、丹娜法伯癌症研究院的首席执行官、免疫学家劳瑞·格里姆切尔称沃姆斯利为“自然之力”以及“到目前为止所见过的学得最快的人士。”葛兰素史克前研发部门负责人蒙瑟夫·斯劳维将她描述为“有胆识、支持型和高要求领导”。同事们则说她擅长聆听,而且总是在学习,但在决策方面十分迅速和坚定。她的本领还包括以咨询师的口吻重复诸如“创新-业绩-信任!”这样的口号;以及杜撰口头禅——“快速变化的消费健康护理”是她的最爱。

她成长于英格兰坎布里亚,父亲是罗伯特·沃姆斯利爵士,英国皇家海军中将,曾长时间在部队舰艇上服役。她曾就读于贵族女子寄宿学校 St. Swithun’s,并在期间参加了公共演讲和合唱团,也曾在歌剧中扮演过白马王子,后进入牛津大学学习经典文学和语言。毕业后,她加入Coba Group担任咨询师。自那之后,该公司被普华永道收购。比沃姆斯利晚数年就读St. Swithun’s,并于随后在欧莱雅与沃姆斯利共事的索菲·马森依然记得,当时,她便是一位有着“超凡魅力”的“领导者”。

沃姆斯利于1994年加入法国美容巨头欧莱雅,之后职务不断晋升,曾在英国和法国工作,负责欧莱雅巴黎和卡尼尔/美宝莲品牌。??

在起初的几年中,曾与沃姆斯利共事的L’Oréal Luxe Nordics现任总经理帕特里克·库伦伯格称,她在会议和讲演中如同接受过戏剧培训的演员,因为她会认真思考自己的表达效果。他称沃姆斯利说起话来“成效卓著”。她能跻身于欧莱雅公司高层便已证明了她的卓尔不凡。库伦伯格回忆说,这里的高层几乎都是男性和法国人。

沃姆斯利随后离开了欧洲来到了美国,在美宝莲担任高管。她于2007年前往上海,负责欧莱雅消费产品部门。

沃姆斯利在公司内部是一位“受人爱戴的高管”。她在完成任务时体现出了军人的作风。库伦伯格曾是沃姆斯利的部下,有一段时间曾与沃姆斯利在一个办公室办公。他说:“她会说,‘在12点前别跟我说话;我需要集中注意力。’”

她不仅仅只是为自己设立高标准。马森说:“我记得她对我们整个团队的要求也是十分非常严格。”他回忆说,沃姆斯利曾要求在口红发布会的最后一刻进行调整。这种管理风格十分有效。马森说:“所有人对她的愿景佩服不已,也愿意为她效力。”

沃姆斯利在品牌之间和国家之间的轮换是欧莱雅高管晋升的标志性轨迹。因此,沃姆斯利投入葛兰素史克怀抱的举措让人们大吃一惊。事实上,她自己对做出这一选择也感到很吃惊。

沃姆斯利在为LeanIn.org撰写的一篇文章中提到,2010年,40岁的沃姆斯利和她的企业家丈夫大卫,及其4个孩子(都不到10岁)来到了中国,展开了一场“盛大的家族式冒险之旅”。随后,与韦提的会面以及随后担任英国葛兰素史克消费品部门负责人的工作机会,让所有一切都发生了变化。

她随后写道:“我花了一周的时间来说服自己,接受这份工作是疯子的举动。”她还提到了自己担心此举是对欧莱雅的“不忠”,以及对家人的“不公平”。另一个最主要的顾虑是:“这将是一件很困难的事情。主要问题在于一个‘变’字:人、公司组合、结果和文化。”她写道。“变化是一件好事,但由外行人来统领葛兰素史克通常并不是最受欢迎的选择。”

但是她克服了这些烦恼,并最终做出了这一“蹦极式的”跳槽举动,迈向了未知领域。

沃姆斯利将其营销手腕和与生俱来的雄心带到了葛兰素史克。葛兰素史克的各大品牌,从假牙稳固剂 Poligrip一直到抗酸药Tums,一直都在改善人们的生活,但实际上并未激起用户的兴趣。非处方药物品牌事实上都是地球上最不受欢迎的品牌。沃姆斯利问道,为什么它们不能像苹果、耐克和可口可乐那样深受人们喜爱?然后,她发起营销活动来实现这一点。

这一过程并不轻松,在科学思维占据主导地位的葛兰素史克,打造讨喜品牌的理念未能立即推而广之。然而,WPP高管阿琳娜·凯瑟尔称,此举和沃姆斯利的决心点燃了非处方药行业的营销热情。营销活动斩获了丰厚的业绩成果,葛兰素史克消费品销售增长了38%,在沃姆斯利执掌的5年期间从68亿美元升至94亿美元,当然,这一业绩也部分归功于与医药同行诺华制药所建立的合资公司。

But in an era of six-figure prescriptions, investors didn’t have the patience for Witty’s slow-going, do-gooding volume play. Many were disappointed by the seeming lack of innovative medicines being developed at the storied 300-year-old drug company. GSK’s shortcomings were more likely to be lapses in marketing rather than discovery. In recent years, it had actually developed more new drugs than most of its peers; they just weren’t commercial successes for the most part. One telling stat put the problem in stark perspective: Due in part to patent expiries, the pharma unit’s revenues in 2016 were roughly equal to its revenues in 2004.

When in March 2016, the GSK board announced that Witty would step down the following year, they promised an extensive global search for his replacement. By September, they had found someone right inside the company: a then–47-year-old exec whom Witty himself had recruited years earlier at a networking event in Shanghai.

TO HEAR HER past and present colleagues tell it, Walmsley was the ideal pick. GSK board member Laurie Glimcher, an immunologist and CEO of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, calls Walmsley “a force of nature” and “the quickest study I think I’ve ever met.” Moncef Slaoui, GSK’s former R&D chief, describes her as a “courageous, supportive, and demanding leader.” Excellent at listening and always learning, she’s nevertheless quick and unwavering in decisions, colleagues say. She also has a knack for consultant-speak, repeating mantras like “Innovation-Performance-Trust!” and coining catchphrases—“fast moving consumer health care” is a favorite.

She grew up in Cumbria, England, the daughter of Sir Robert Walmsley, a vice admiral in the Royal British Navy with a long résumé of corporate board–ships. She attended St. Swithun’s, a posh all-girls boarding school, where she participated in public speaking and choir—and once played Prince Charming in an opera—and then Oxford, where she studied classics and languages. After college she joined the Coba Group, which has since been acquired by PwC, and became a consultant. Sophie Masson, who would later work with Walmsley at L’Oréal, attended St. Swithun’s a few years behind Walmsley and remembers her as having “amazing charisma” and being “a leader” even then.

Walmsley joined L’Oréal in 1994, where she climbed the rungs of the French beauty giant, with jobs in the U.K. and France for the L’Oréal Paris and Garnier/Maybelline brands.

In those early years, Patrick Kullenberg, now general manager of L’Oréal Luxe Nordics who worked with Walmsley, says in meetings and presentations she came off as someone with theatrical training because she was so deliberate with her delivery. She spoke, he says, “with effect.” Her presence alone stood out among L’Oréal higher-ups, who, Kullenberg remembers, were mostly male and mostly French.

Walmsley later left Europe for the U.S., where she took a top managerial role at Maybelline before moving to Shanghai in 2007 to head up L’Oréal’s consumer products division there.

Walmsley was an “admired executive” within the company, Kullenberg notes. She had military discipline when completing tasks. “She’d say something like, ‘Don’t speak to me until 12 o’clock; I’m focused,’ ” says Kullenberg, who briefly shared an office with his onetime boss.

She didn’t just set high standards for herself. “I remember her being very challenging to us as a team,” says Masson, who recalls Walmsley asking for changes to a lipstick launch in the 11th hour. And that managerial style worked. “We were all very impressed by her vision and wanted to deliver for her,” Masson says.

Walmsley’s progression from brand to brand and country to country was the trademark trajectory of someone headed for the tip-top of L’Oréal’s ladder. So it was a shock when Walmsley decamped for GSK. In fact, she seemed to shock even herself in making the move.

It was 2010, and 40-year-old Walmsley, her entrepreneur husband, David, and their four children (all under the age of 10) were in the midst of “a tremendous family adventure” in China, according to an essay Walmsley wrote for LeanIn.org. Then a meeting with Witty and a subsequent offer to take a job as head of consumer products at GSK in the U.K. threw it all into flux.

“I spent a week persuading myself I would be insane to do it,” she later wrote, citing worries about being “disloyal” to L’Oréal and “unfair” to her family. Another chief concern: “It would be really hard. The brief was a big change agenda: people, portfolio, results and culture,” she wrote. “Change is good, but the outsiders leading it aren’t usually the most popular.”

But she got over those hangups, and ultimately made the “bungee jump”–like leap “into the unknown.”

WALMSLEY BROUGHT her marketing chops and inherent ambition to the role. GSK’s brands, from the denture adhesive cream Poligrip to its antacid product Tums, improved lives but didn’t exactly inspire the consumers who used them. Over-the-counter brands, in fact, polled among the least popular brands on the planet. Walmsley asked, Why shouldn’t they be as beloved as Apple or Nike or Coca-Cola?, and set out on a campaign to make them so.

The journey wasn’t easy—the idea of lovable brands wasn’t an instant hit with GSK’s more science-minded folk—but WPP executive Alina Kessel says the effort and Walmsley’s commitment invigorated marketing in the OTC industry. The campaign also coincided with strong business results, with GSK’s consumer sales increasing 38% from $6.8 billion to $9.4 billion in the five years Walmsley served as its head, though some of this was due to a joint venture with Big Pharma peer Novartis.

华尔街并不喜欢葛兰素史克的抱团经营构架,但随着沃姆斯利努力重振其制药部门,公司的其他业务也帮助缓解了一些压力。Courtesy of GSK

平衡举措

制药

沃姆斯利的首要任务就是重振制药部门,它占到了葛兰素史克总销售额的57%。由于新药推出不如同行,因此她将加速研发和改善营销作为目标。2017年拿到的两个新药牌照——一个用于治疗慢性阻塞性肺病的三联用药吸入剂以及治疗艾滋病的联合药剂——应有助于实现这一目标;缩窄研发领域的举措亦会如此,公司将研发重点放在了治疗领域以及葛兰素史克并不怎么知名的领域:抗肿瘤和免疫。

疫苗

这个营收额68亿美元的部门每天生产200万支疫苗。2017年该部门高效带状疱疹疫苗获得批准,如今准备扩大规模。美国疾病防治中心推荐50岁以上的美国人使用该疫苗。该部门的脑膜炎疫苗BEXSERO亦斩获了强劲的业绩。2018年,该疫苗成为了首款获得美国食品与药物管理局突破性疗法殊荣的疫苗。

消费品

沃姆斯利已经实现了消费品部门的转型,它目前已占到公司销售额的四分之一。沃姆斯利今年早些时候收购了诺华36%的股份(两家公司在2014年成立了合资企业)。该部门如今更主要的关注点将是利润增长。品牌产品组合包括XCEDRIN、 FLONASE和TUMS等,其中很多药物在其各自的门类中均处于领先地位。

一位前葛兰素史克高级高管回忆称:“消费品部门此前曾是一个暮气沉沉的边缘化小部门,营收贡献比例很小。然后沃姆斯利来了,消费品部门突然间成为了一个前沿核心部门,人们在谈论之余也亲眼目睹了这一变化,营销人员也是重拾信心,哇,这确实是件有趣的事情。”

2014年,沃姆斯利的工作变得更加复杂,当时,葛兰素史克与诺华达成了协议,进行业务交换。葛兰素史克用肿瘤资产换取了诺华的疫苗业务,然后合资成立了一家新公司,后者成为了世界最大的非处方药业务之一。葛兰素史克在消费品合资企业的持股比例更大,而沃姆斯利也成为了新部门的首席执行官。

当时负责诺华并购业务、合资企业董事马维尔·苏利文·伯克托尔德说:“众所周知,合资企业的经营可不是件容易的事情,而且外界通常认为其成功的概率很小。”(摩根大通董事总经理伯克托尔德最近帮助该银行启动了盛传已久的医疗业务,合作对象为亚马逊和伯克希尔-哈撒韦公司。)除了明显的整合挑战之外,很多人认为诺华(瑞士公司,业绩驱动型)和葛兰素史克(英国公司,注重利益相关方的管理)的企业文化也是格格不入。

沃姆斯利令所有人刮目相看。伯克托尔德称:“整个整合过程实在是无比顺畅。人们几乎都忘了,这些问题[像这样的合资企业]通常需要数年的时间来解决。”沃姆斯利甚至成功地将诺华高管留在了自己的团队。伯克托尔德说:“他们对她的评价异常高。他们感到沃姆斯利真的是非常尊重自己,但同时也清醒地意识到,她才是老板。”

葛兰素史克的首席数字和技术官卡瑞南·特里尔是沃姆斯利担任首席执行官之后聘请的首批主要高管之一,此前曾担任沃尔玛的首席信息官。他亲眼见证了两个业务部门的合并。执行过程完美无瑕,而且引起了业界的注意。特里尔说:“艾玛成为了家喻户晓的人物,那可是家喻户晓。”

此次成功比以往任何时候都更加凸显了沃姆斯利作为首席执行官的才干。然而在获得这份工作后,沃姆斯利行事十分谨慎。在正式上任6个月之前,她踏上了葛兰素史克聆听之旅,与公司内部和外部人士交谈,倾听他们对公司的看法。

在听取人们看法的时候,沃姆斯利认为将自己作为公司“知情外行人士”的特征看作是一种优势。她可以从以上两个角度来理解他人的看法,然后,同样重要的是,将这些观点转化后传达给那些无法做到这一点的人。

以葛兰素史克的真实讨论会为例,这是在沃姆斯利上任之初召开的一次会议,她将伦敦的研发高管召集到一个房间中,然后播放了视频,内容讲述了分析师对葛兰素史克研发部门业绩的看法。当时参会的一位前任高管说:“几乎所有分析师都给出了异常糟糕的评估结果,并表示,‘我们认为不应投资葛兰素史克。’”

房间中有何反应?寂静一片。

这位前任高管说,研发部门一直以来自我感觉非常良好,而且认为自己在全球范围内也很有名气,但这个视频无异于当头一棒。

尽管这一棒可谓是毫不留情,但却十分奏效。它展现了沃姆斯利的工作方式。这位前高管说,她在视频结束后说,基本上,“所有的材料都在桌上了。外界都认为研发部门出了问题。让我们看看怎样才能解决这个问题。”

BALANCING ACT

Pharmaceuticals

Walmsley’s top priority is to reinvigorate pharma, which accounts for 57% of GSK’s sales. Drug launches have lagged those of peers, and the CEO aims to speed development and improve marketing. Approvals of two new meds in 2017—a three-drug inhaler to treat COPD and a combination pill for HIV patients—should help, as should a narrower focus for R&D centered on those therapeutic areas and two less established ones for GSK: oncology and immunology.

Vaccines

The $6.8 billion group, which delivers 2 million vaccines per day, is poised to swell following the 2017 approval of SHRINGRIX, its highly effective vaccine against shingles. The CDC recommends the product for Americans 50 and older. The division has also recorded strong sales of BEXSERO, its meningitis vaccine, which in 2018 became the first vaccine to ever receive a Breakthrough Therapy designation from the FDA.

Consumer

Walmsley has already transformed the consumer group, which accounted for a quarter of GSK’s sales, when she bought out Novartis’s 36% stake in the business earlier this year (the two companies formed a joint venture in 2014). Margin growth will now be an even bigger focus for the group. The portfolio of branded products, many of which lead their categories, range from XCEDRIN to FLONASE to TUMS.

“Consumer had been a sleepy little side organization that brought in a bit of revenue,” recalls one former GSK senior executive. “Then all of sudden, she arrives and it’s front and center, and you’re hearing about it, and you’re seeing change, and the marketing people are up onstage, and whoa, that gets interesting.”

In 2014, Walmsley’s role became vastly more complex when the company brokered the deal with Novartis. The two firms did a swap—GSK got Novartis’s vaccines unit for its oncology assets—and went in together on what became one of the world’s largest OTC businesses. GSK’s stake in the consumer joint venture was larger, and Walmsley became the new unit’s CEO.

“Joint ventures are notoriously difficult, and they’re often seen as unsuccessful,” says Marvelle Sullivan Berchtold, who then ran M&A for Novartis and sat on the joint venture’s board. (Berchtold, a managing director at JPMorgan Chase, recently helped launch the bank’s much-heralded foray into health care with Amazon and Berkshire Hathaway.) Beyond the obvious integration challenges, many saw the corporate cultures of Novartis (Swiss and performance-driven) and GSK (British and all about stakeholder management) to be near polar opposites.

Walmsley wowed everyone. “It is hard to overstate how seamless that integration was,” says Berchtold. “One could almost forget people often spend years disentangling problems [in joint ventures like this].” Walmsley even managed to keep the highest-level Novartis people on her team. “They spoke so well of her. They felt really very respected, but it was also really clear she was the boss,” Berchtold says.

GSK chief digital and technology officer Karenann Terrell—one of Walmsley’s first major hires as CEO—was Walmart’s chief information officer at the time and witnessed the merging of the two businesses. The execution was flawless and noticed across the industry. “Everyone knew Emma,” says Terrell. “Everyone.”

That success marked Walmsley, even more than before, as CEO material. Yet when she got the top job, Walmsley approached the position cautiously. For six months prior to officially taking over, she embarked on a GSK listening tour, talking to people inside the company and out for their perspective on GSK.

Walmsley considered her “insider-outsider” status at GSK an advantage as she sought this feedback. She could see both perspectives, and then, just as important, translate it to those who could not.

Cue the session of GSK real talk that took place early in Walmsley’s tenure when she gathered senior R&D leaders in a room in London and played for them a video of analysts giving their takes on GSK’s R&D performance. “Almost uniformly, they all came back with pretty scathing assessments, saying, ‘We don’t think we would invest in this,’ ” says a former senior executive who was there.

The reaction in the room? Silence.

It was a “punch in the nose” for an R&D organization that thought highly of itself and thought the world thought highly of it too, the former exec says.

But the wake-up call, however harsh, was effective. It showed the framework from which Walmsley was working. Her message afterward, the former executive says, was, essentially, “Everything’s on the table here. The world is saying it’s broken. Let’s see if we can fix it.”

艾玛·沃姆斯利出席2017年10月在波士顿举行的葛兰素史克高管会议。Courtesy of GSK

随后,她不得不小心行事,既要肯定韦提备受赞扬的传承,同时还得解决公司的业务短板。

她在6月向《财富》透露:“葛兰素史克通过做好事取得了不错的业绩,也因此而一直处于领先地位。但为了做更多的好事,我们需要更好的业绩来支撑。”(她拒绝就此事接受采访。)她称赞韦提在发展公司的疫苗和消费业务方面做得“非常出色”,但公司的第三大部门——制药,是她振兴公司策略的关键。她说:“制药的核心是研发,我希望大家能够再次让医药科学、新药发现和研发焕发勃勃生机。”

与韦提同时退休的葛兰素史克前任研发业务负责人斯劳瑞最近回到了公司总部,然后他很快发现了不少变化。高管办公室依然在一楼,这还是韦提的主意,但不管怎么样,办公室比以往更加显眼。一切都被粉刷成了白色,让整个空间看起来更干净,更加突出。他说:“一切都一目了然。”

斯劳瑞发现,一些人因这种坦诚、直接的管理层接触方式而充满了活力和干劲。还有一些人对可能出现的未来感到动摇和忧虑。他说:“葛兰素史克变样了,公司正在发生变化。”

最好的例子莫过于沃姆斯利大幅调整的高管团队。尤其是制药部门的负责人哈尔·巴伦,他此前曾在基因泰克和谷歌秘密长生实验室Calico担任部门领导职务。巴伦在过去曾拒绝了很多大型制药公司抛出的橄榄枝,但在去年11月接受了担任葛兰素史克新研发负责人的邀请。其他的成员包括资深医药行业高管、来自于同城竞争对手阿斯利康的卢克·米尔斯(两家公司因聘请卢克经历了一场法律恶战),以及来自于辉瑞、诺华和汇丰的高管新星。

沃姆斯利高管团队的曝光率十分之高,所有人都会参加市政大厅活动和投资者见面会,而韦提则会单独出席此类活动。她向《财富》透露说:“我能够做的最重要的事情便是聘请与我们的工作目标一致,能够共同应对相关挑战的人士……[并]给予他们自由和责任,利用其专长在困难之时做出抉择。”

相比较大多数老板,沃姆斯利可能对“自由”有着更宽泛的定义。沃姆斯利通过多次面谈才招致麾下的巴伦驻扎在旧金山郊区,而不是公司主要的科研设施。沃姆斯利称,她理解他所在的地区有利于他进行创新。

当然,这是她目前的首要任务。尽管巴伦才上任不到一年,他已经采取了一些大胆的举措,包括与硅谷基因测试公司23andMe达成3亿美元的独家合作协议。葛兰素史克如今将可以利用该公司匿名基因数据来帮助验证其待上市药品的生物靶标。分析师称,这个涵盖数亿人的庞大基因数据库能够提升其开发成功药物的可能性,这对于医药行业来说非常必要,如今,候选药物的上市率仅有十分之一。这一数据还有助于为漫长、昂贵的临床试验招募病患。目前,这两家公司仍在协商合作的具体安排。

到目前为止,沃姆斯利已经上任17个月,投资者似乎正在观望当中。葛兰素史克的股价在这一年中十分平稳。

至于前股东伍德福德,他可能也在思考自己的退葛行动是否有点过早。11月,也就是他抛售股份之后的第6个月,他承认沃姆斯利的一些举措给他留下了深刻的印象。他对投资分析公司晨星说,“葛兰素史克的股票可能会在某一天回归我的资产组合。”(财富中文网)

本文的另一个版本作为《最具影响力的商界女性》组文的一部分,刊登于《财富》2018年10月1日刊,标题为《RX For Renewal》。

译者:冯丰

审校:夏林

Right away, she had to perform the delicate dance of acknowledging Witty’s much-extolled legacy within the company while addressing GSK’s business shortcomings.

“GSK has led a lot on doing well by doing good, but we need to do better to be able to do more good,” she told Fortune in June. (She declined to be interviewed for this story.) She credits Witty with doing an “amazing job” with GSK’s vaccine and consumer businesses, but the company’s third division—pharmaceuticals—is the linchpin of her strategy to revitalize the company. “At the heart of pharma is R&D,” she said. “I want us to get back to our mojo around science and discovery and development again.”

Slaoui, GSK’s former R&D chief—he retired when Witty did—was back at GSK headquarters recently, and he noticed a couple of differences immediately. The executive offices were still on the first floor where Witty had moved them, but somehow, they were even more visible now. Everything had been painted white, giving the space a cleaner, sharper feel. “There is nowhere to hide now,” he says.

Slaoui found some people energetic and reinvigorated by the new honest, urgent approach to leadership. Others were shaken and apprehensive about what might lie ahead. “GSK is in a different place now,” he said. “It’s changing.”

For evidence, look no further than Walmsley’s dramatically refreshed executive team. Leading the pharma group, notably, is Hal Barron, who previously led departments at Genentech and Calico, Google’s secretive immortality lab. Barron had turned down many a Big Pharma post in the past, but he agreed to become GSK’s new R&D chief this past November. Other recruits include Luke Miels, a seasoned pharmaceutical executive from crosstown rival AstraZeneca—a hire that sparked a nasty legal battle—and up-and-comers from Pfizer, Novartis, and HSBC.

Walmsley’s executive team is highly visible—all participating in town halls and investor presentations—a noted departure in style. Witty tended to appear alone at such events. “The most important thing I can do is hire people who are aligned with the ambition and challenge of what we have to do … [and] give them the freedom and accountability to use their expertise to make difficult decisions,” she told Fortune.

Walmsley may have a more expansive definition of “freedom” than most bosses. Barron, whom Walmsley wooed to GSK over many FaceTime conversations, is based out of San Francisco, rather than one of the company’s main research campuses. Walmsley says she appreciates his proximity there to innovation.

That is of course her current priority, and while Barron has been on board for less than a year, he’s already made some bold moves, including forging the exclusive $300 million partnership with Silicon Valley–based genetic testing company 23andMe. GSK will now get to use the latter’s anonymized genetic data to help validate biological targets for its would-be medicines. Such a deep reservoir of genetic data on millions of people, analysts say, could offer the kinds of insights that ought to boost the chances of developing a successful drug—a must in an industry in which currently only one in 10 drug candidates ever makes it to market. The data might also help in recruiting patients for clinical trials, a long and expensive process, though the two companies are still working out the details of their arrangement.

So far, some 17 months into Walmsley’s reign, investors seem to be playing wait-and-see. GSK’s share price is flat for the year.

As for former shareholder Woodford, he may be wondering if he Glaxited too soon. In November, just six months after ditching the stock, he admitted he was impressed by some of Walmsley’s moves. “In time,” he told Morningstar, “Glaxo might be back in the portfolio.”

A version of this article appears in the Oct. 1, 2018 issue of Fortune as part of the Most Powerful Women package with the headline “RX For Renewal.”

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