Chris Viehbacher Joins Board of Directors

31 October 2008

Burroughs Wellcome Fund welcomed Chris Viehbacher to its Board of Directors.  Mr. Viehbacher will become the CEO of the Paris-based pharmaceutical firm Sanofi-Aventis in December.  Until September, he headed the combined North American pharmaceutical businesses for GlaxoSmithKline.

"I am grateful that Mr. Viehbacher has agreed to share his time and expertise with BWF," President John Burris, Ph.D., said.  "The experience and knowledge that he brings to the table will help further BWF's mission."

Mr. Viehbacher served as GSK’s president since 2003.  GSK employs more than 5,000 individuals in the Triangle-area of North Carolina. About 850 work at a manufacturing facility in Zebulon and the rest work in Research Triangle Park.  He resigned from GSK in September. He joined the Burroughs Wellcome Company in 1988 as chief financial accountant. 

"Mr. Viehbacher's perspective in biopharmaceuticals at a time when translational research is growing exponentially in the biomedical research community will greatly enhance the depth of expertise of the Burroughs Wellcome Fund Board," Board Chair Phil Gold, M.D., Ph.D. said.

Rotating off the board are George Miller, M.D., Mary Lou Pardue, Ph.D., and Phil Tracy, J.D.  Mr. Tracy will receive honorary status for his role in preserving the legacy of Burroughs Wellcome Company on the board.

Also during the meeting, Carlos Bustamante, Ph.D. was elected chair of the board and Jerry Strauss, M.D., Ph.D. was elected as the vice-chair.

The Burroughs Wellcome Fund in an independent private foundation located in Research Triangle Park, N.C.