Tags: moncef slaoui | sexual harassment | gsk | operation warp speed

Former Chief of Operation Warp Speed Fired by GSK for 'Substantiated' Harassment Claims

moncef slaoui stands to side at press briefing
Dr. Moncef Slaoui, then-chief adviser to Operation Warp Speed, in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in Washington, DC, September 18, 2020. (SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 24 March 2021 01:48 PM

Moncef Slaoui, the former chief scientist for Operation Warp Speed, has been fired as chairman of the board of Galvani Bioelectronics after sexual harassment claims against him were "substantiated," according to CNBC.

"The Board of Directors of GlaxoSmithKline plc, the majority shareholder of Galvani Bioelectronics, today announced the termination of Moncef Slaoui as Chair of the Galvani Board of Directors, effective immediately," the company said in a press release.

Galvani was created as a partnership between GSK and Verily Life Sciences, which is a subsidiary of Alphabet, the parent company of Google.

The statement added: "The termination follows the receipt of a letter containing allegations of sexual harassment and inappropriate conduct towards an employee of GSK by Dr. Slaoui, which occurred several years ago when he was an employee of GSK. Upon receipt of the letter, the GSK Board immediately initiated an investigation with an experienced law firm to investigate the allegations. The investigation of Dr. Slaoui’s conduct substantiated the allegations and is ongoing."

Slaoui, who is 61, was employed for more than 30 years by GSK, where he oversaw vaccine development. He also served as chief scientist for the U.S. government’s COVID-19 vaccine development program during the Trump administration. He did not respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

"Dr. Slaoui’s behaviours are wholly unacceptable," GSK said in the statement. "They represent an abuse of his leadership position, violate company policies, and are contrary to the strong values that define GSK’s culture. The company expects everyone at GSK to behave in accordance with its values, especially its leaders where its standards are the highest. Sexual harassment and any abuse of leadership position are strictly prohibited and will not be tolerated."

GSK chief executive Emma Walmsley wrote in a memo to employees: "On a personal level, I am shocked and angry about all of this, but I’m resolute."

She said "sexual harassment is strictly prohibited and will not be tolerated" and noted that Slaoui’s name will be removed from the company’s research and development center located in Rockville, Maryland, which had been named The Slaoui Center for Vaccines Research.

"Since February, the highest levels of our company have been working to understand and address what happened," Walmsley added. "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."

The statement also reports that GSK Senior Vice President of Development Christopher Corsico, a current member of the Galvani Board, has been appointed chairman, while Senior Vice President of Legal, R&D and Global Commercial Franchises at GSK Amy Altshul has been named to the board.

The company concludes: "GSK’s leadership is firmly committed to building a safe and respectful environment for every employee. The company has established policies and resources to manage issues related to workplace safety and conduct while protecting the privacy and wellbeing of its employees. Over the last few years, it has worked hard to prioritize and enhance efforts to ensure that all employees feel respected and included."

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Moncef Slaoui, the former chief scientist for Operation Warp Speed, has been fired as chairman of the board of Galvani Bioelectronics after sexual harassment claims against him were "substantiated," according to CNBC...
moncef slaoui, sexual harassment, gsk, operation warp speed
Wednesday, 24 March 2021 01:48 PM
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