Emma Walmsley has a rare distinction—she’s among just a handful of female CEOs in an industry infamous for its male skew in the C-Suite. But Walmsley hasn’t been shy about making her mark in the world of Big Pharma, transforming the core business strategy of GlaxoSmithKline, the British drug giant with more than $100 billion in market value, since she took the reins back in April 2017. Walmsley has been aggressive in striking deals—and hiring big name talent, like R&D chief Hal Barron—to bolster GSK’s drug pipeline. In January, the firm closed a $5 billion deal for the cancer-focused biotech Tesaro, part of a major shakeup intended to make GSK a dominant player in the oncology space after years of stagnation. And if those changes weren’t forward-looking enough, Walmsley oversaw a deal with 23andMe last year to leverage the genetic testing firm’s insights for drug development. She was nominated to the Microsoft board in September.
Subscribe to The Broadsheet, our newsletter on the world’s most powerful women.