GlaxoSmithKline's Nutritional Healthcare UK boss Graham Neale has been promoted to a new senior vice president role created specifically to accelerate global sales of Lucozade and Ribena.

Neale, who has led the Nutritional Healthcare business since 1998, joins GSK's Nutritional Healthcare Future Group with immediate effect. In his new role he will oversee the research and development process of Lucozade and Ribena to boost the rate and quality of product innovation.

The company said GSK Future Group had already helped accelerate the growth of other global GSK brands such as Aquafresh and weight loss aid Alli.

Neale's appointment underscores GSK's intention to diversify its brands across different markets, exemplified by Lucozade's launch into China last month.

"My first priority will be to maximise globalisation opportunities, accelerate innovation and deliver ­superior brand strategy in order to drive increased growth for our brands," he said. "I look forward to working to globalise our business in line with GSK's overall strategy."

Prior to his previous role as senior vice president and general manager of GSK Nutritional Healthcare UK, Neale held numerous positions across GSK, including general manager and vice president of Central and Eastern Europe, France and South East Asia.

Peter Harding replaces Neale immediately, moving up from vice president of GSK's Aquafresh Future Team. He joined GSK's Nutritional Healthcare business in 1997 as marketing director of Lucozade and became vice president of marketing in 1999.

He also played a leading role in driving consecutive years of sales growth, according to GSK.

"Graham has led the business through a period of tremendous growth and has shown strong, inspiring leadership," said Harding. "I am excited about taking over the running of this business, as a thriving Nutritional Healthcare business lies at the heart of GSK'S plans for growth."