Glaxo Appoints Lilly Exec To Head N.A. Operations

British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline has named Deirdre Connolly from U.S. rival Eli Lilly & Co. for a similar position as head of GSK's North American Pharmaceuticals unit.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline PLC is tapping a top executive from U.S. rival Eli Lilly & Co. for a similar position, as head of GSK's North American Pharmaceuticals unit, the company said Friday.

Deirdre Connolly, 48, will become president of the unit on Feb. 9, and will report directly to Chief Executive Andrew Witty.

Connelly, a San Juan native, has been president of Lilly's U.S. operations since 2005.

She joined Indianapolis-based Lilly in 1983 as a sales representative, became general manager for Eli Lilly Puerto Rico S.A. in 1995, and later was promoted to regional sales director and other positions.

GlaxoSmithKline is a major maker of vaccines and prescription drugs, including osteoporosis treatment Boniva, Advair for asthma, Flonase for allergies and Relenza for flu symptoms.

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