GSK splits in two ahead of Ribena and Lucozade sell off

Harding (left) and Lawson will head the new GSK divisions

GSK has split its Great Britain and Ireland business into two divisions as it prepares to sell off Lucozade and Ribena.

The move has created two senior leadership teams. Lucozade and Ribena has been consolidated into one division under Peter Harding, previously general manager for the overall GSK Consumer Healthcare business, while global oral health boss Carlton Lawson is now general manager of the new consumer healthcare division, with responsibility for oral health, wellness, nutrition and skin health.

The changes would help “ensure a smooth and swift transition for the divestment of the brands,” said the company, which in April announced plans to sell the drinks.

Harding had a reputation for delivering long-term growth for drinks brands, said GSK. He started at Cargill and Rank Hovis McDougall and also worked at S&N before joining GSK in 1997 as vice president of marketing.

His senior team includes recent recruits to the business: UK sales director Gareth Smyth, who joined last year from fruit & veg grower and distributor Keelings marketing director Carol Smith, who also joined last year, from Kimberly-Clark and country manager for Ireland Rory Brennan, who joined in January from Musgrave Group.

Lawson, who joined in 2008, had helped double Sensodyne’s global brand sales, said GSK. He has also run the company’s denture care category and overseen its Aquafresh brand.

His team will include: vice president of sales Jon Workman, who has 15 years of sales and marketing experience marketing director Rachel Deans, who was global marketing director for Aquafresh and commercial director for Ireland Dave Barrett, previously field sales and pharmacy channel director in Great Britain.