GlaxoSmithKline fell 1.3 % in premarket trading on Monday, as concerns about the rapidly spreading Omicron virus overshadowed the appointment of Dave Lewis to lead the company's new consumer healthcare division.
Lewis, who would become non-executive chairman, left Tesco last year following a six-year reign during which he led the retailer's recovery after a huge accounting scandal rocked it shortly after he joined it in 2014.
According to a major newswire he came to Tesco from Unilever, where he acquired the moniker 'Drastic Dave' for repairing businesses through cost-cutting and imaginative marketing.
Lewis has also served on the Sky board of directors and is currently a PepsiCo director. He has also been counseling the UK government for more than two months on how to resolve supply chain difficulties that have wreaked havoc on the British economy and driven up energy and other necessities prices.
Consumer healthcare will be separated through a demerger in mid-2022, with at least 80% of GSK's holdings being sold off to shareholders. The resulting firm is intended to be listed on the London Stock Exchange as a premium stock.
According to a report from October, private equity firms interested in the split estimate that the new unit might be worth $54 billion.
In July, Brian McNamara was named CEO-designate of the new consumer healthcare firm.
GSK's stock fell a little less than the rest of the UK market on Monday, which was suffering from the potential of new mobility limits to bring down a skyrocketing COVID-19 infection rate.
The United Kingdom is currently reporting over 90,000 COVID cases every day, owing primarily to the new and more transmissible Omicron strain. So far, hospital admission rates - the main driver of government policy - haven't risen in parallel, but with cases at an all-time high, Health Secretary Sajid Javid hasn't ruled out harsher lockdown measures even before the holiday season.