GSK Scouts for Candidates to Replace CEO Witty: @Pharmaguy Rebuffs Offer | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News |

GlaxoSmithKline is casting about for a new CEO. Amid shareholder pressure for a breakup or shake-up or both, the company reportedly has asked its headhunting firm to put together a short list of candidates to replace current chief Andrew Witty.

Investors are restless: GSK has suffered a series of blows to its reputation and its income statement. Over the past three years, the company has agreed to pay $3 billion to settle a variety of marketing and manufacturing allegations from the U.S. Department of Justice and almost $500 million to wrap up a bribery scandal in China. Witty's work to rebuild GSK's reputation included an overhaul of sales-rep compensation that some blame for the slow launch of respiratory drugs the company needs to replace the aging--and ailing--Advair. That behemoth drug, long GSK's top seller, has seen sales slump dramatically since last year on generic competition and tough negotiations with U.S. payers.