Moncef Slaoui, the former GlaxoSmithKline research boss who became the Trump administration’s vaccine tsar, has been accused of sexual harassment and inappropriate conduct towards an employee during his time at UK drugmaker.
GSK said on Wednesday that an investigation by a law firm had substantiated the allegations, which involved incidents that occurred several years ago. The probe is ongoing.
Following the allegations, Slaoui, who previously led research and development at GSK until 2017, has been terminated from his remaining post at the company, chair of the board of its subsidiary Galvani Bioelectronics, a joint venture with Alphabet’s Verily. The company will also rename its vaccines R&D facility, which had been named after Slaoui.
Slaoui, who spearheaded Operation Warp Speed, the Trump administration’s vaccine development programme, did not respond to a request for comment.
Emma Walmsley, GSK’s chief executive, wrote a letter to employees saying it had received a letter detailing the allegations in February. She said she was “shocked” and “angry”.
“Since February, the highest levels of our company have been working to understand and address what happened,” she wrote. “Protecting the woman who came forward and her privacy has been a critical priority throughout this time. This will continue. I respect and admire her courage and strength. I’ve spent many nights lately putting myself in her shoes. More than anything, this simply should not have happened.”