Meet Haleon, GSK’s new consumer health unit

Feb. 23, 2022

GlaxoSmithKline is forging ahead with plans for the proposed demerger of its Consumer Healthcare unit, unveiling a name for the new unit: Haleon.

Haleon (pronounced Hay-Lee-On) was chosen based on suggestions from employees. The name is inspired by the merging of the words Hale, meaning good health, and Leon, meaning strength, which represents the new company’s message, according to GSK.

Haleon will be a company “purely dedicated to everyday health,” said Emma Walmsley, CEO of GSK. The new company will be headquartered in Weybridge, U.K., a town about 17 miles southwest of central London, with the campus set to open at the end of 2024, according to GSK. 

Brian McNamara, who is set to be the CEO of Haleon, said the new company is on track to be launched in mid-2022. Haleon will make its debut as a standalone company into a market with over $203 billion in estimated demand, according to GSK.

The demerger is a joint-venture between GSK and Pfizer that will bring together the two companies’ portfolio of leading consumer health care brands such as GSK's Sensodyne, Panadol and Voltaren, and Pfizer’s Advil, Centrum and Caltrate.

Over the past eight years, GSK has integrated portfolios from Switzerland-based pharma company Novartis and New York-based Pfizer, taking its consumer health business global and generating annual sales of approximately $13.5 billion, according to GSK.

GSK doubled down on the demerger, after rejecting three unsolicited offers from Unilever to buy its consumer health care business. The UK-based company said Unilever’s proposals undervalued the consumer health care business and its prospects and unanimously concluded that the proposals were not in the best interests of the company’s shareholders.

On Monday, February 28, GSK will host a Consumer Healthcare Capital Markets Day for investors and analysts to provide more details on the overall operations of Haleon. The presentation will include detailed financial information, including growth ambitions, and operational information, such as information on the strategy and capability of Haleon.