May 19, 2020

GlaxoSmithKline Agrees to $3 Billion Fraud Settlement

GlaxoSmithKlein
Food and Drug Administration
healthcare
Sir Andrew Witty
Bizclik Editor
2 min
GlaxoSmithKline Agrees to $3 Billion Fraud Settlement

In what government officials have called the largest case of healthcare fraud in US history; pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline will plead guilty to misdemeanor criminal charges and pay a $3 billion settlement.

The Justice Department announced this week that the company will plead guilty to three criminal counts, including two counts of introducing misbranded antidepressant drugs (Paxil and Wellbutrin) and one count of failing to report safety data about the diabetes drug Avandia to the Food and Drug Administration.

Those criminal complaints total $1 billion, but GlaxoSmithKline will also pay $2 billion to resolve civil liabilities to Paxil, Wellbutrin, Avandia and other drugs and also to resolve allegations of pricing fraud.

Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole said that GSK’s agreement to settle its charges and the accompanying $3 billion fine are “unprecedented in both size and scope” and said the action should be “a clear warning to any company that chooses to break the law.”

GSK has agreed to be monitored by government officials for compliance for the next five years.

According to prosecutors, from April 1998 to August 2003, GSK promoted Paxil for treating depression in children even though the FDA never approved it for anyone under 18. And although Wellbutrin was only approved for treatment of major depressive disorder, GSK promoted it from January 1999 to December 2003 for weight loss, sexual dysfunction treatment, substance addictions and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

GlaxoSmithKline has said that it has learned “from the mistakes that were made.”

“Today brings to resolution difficult, long-standing matters for GSK,” said CEO Sir Andrew Witty in a statement. “Whilst these originate in a different era for the company, they cannot and will not be ignored. On behalf of GSK, I want to express our regret.”

Witty also noted that GSK’s US unit has “fundamentally changed procedures for compliance, marketing and selling. When necessary, we have removed employees who have engaged in misconduct.”

Previously, GSK agreed to pay almost $41 million to 37 states and the District of Columbia in a separate case about poor manufacturing processes at a factory in Puerto Rico last year and paid $2.4 billion to settle claims from Avandia patients in 2010.

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Jun 13, 2021

Marketing matters: from IBM to Kyndryl

CMO
Kyndryl
IBM
Leadership
Kate Birch
5 min
Former CMO for IBM Americas Maria Bartolome Winans was recently named CMO for Kyndryl. Maria talks about her new role and her leadership style

Former Chief Marketing Officer for IBM Americas, and an IBM veteran of more than 25 years, Maria Bartolome Winans was recently named CMO for Kyndryl.

Prior to joining Kyndryl as Chief Marketing Officer, Maria had a 25-year career at IBM, most recently as the tech giant’s CMO where she oversaw all marketing professionals and activities across North America, Canada and Latin America. She has held senior global marketing positions in a variety of disciplines and business units across IBM, most notably strategic initiatives in Smarter Cities and Watson Customer Engagement, as well as leading teams in services, business analytics, and mobile and industry solutions. She is known for her work with teams to leverage data, analytics and cloud technologies to build deeper engagements with customers and partners.

With a passion for marketing, business and people, and a recognized expert in data-driven marketing and brand engagement, Maria talks to Business Chief about her new role, her leadership style and what success means to her.

You've recently moved from IBM to Kyndryl, joining as CMO. Tell us about this exciting new role?

I’m Chief Marketing Officer for Kyndryl, the independent company that will be created following the separation from IBM of its Managed Infrastructure Services business, expected to occur by the end of 2021. My role is to plan, develop, and execute Kyndryl's marketing and advertising initiatives. This includes building a company culture and brand identity on which we base our marketing and advertising strategy.

We have an amazing opportunity ahead at Kyndryl to create a company brand that will stand apart in the market by leading with our people first. Once we are an independent company, each Kyndryl employee will advance the vital systems that power human progress. Our people are devoted, restless, empathetic, and anticipatory – key qualities needed as we build on existing customer relationships and cultivate new ones. Our people are at the heart of this business and I am deeply hopeful and excited for our future.

What experiences have helped prepare you for this new opportunity?

I’ve had a very rich and diverse career history at IBM that has lasted 25+ years. I started out in sales but landed explored opportunities at IBM in different roles, business units, geographies, and functions. Marketing and business are my passions and I landed on Marketing because it allowed me to utilize both my left and right brain, bringing together art and science. In college, I was no tonly a business major, but an art major. I love marketing because I can leverage my extensive knowledge of business, while also being able to think openly and creatively.

The opportunities I was given during my time at IBM and my natural curiosity have led me to the path I’m on now and there’s no better next career step than a once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity to help launch a company. The core of my role at Kyndryl is to create a culture centered on our people and growing up in my career at IBM has allowed me to see first-hand how to prioritize people and ensure they are at the heart of progress in everything Kyndryl will do.

How would you describe your leadership style?

I believe that people aren't your greatest assets, they are your only assets. My platform and background for leadership has always been grounded in authenticity to who I am and centered on diversity and inclusion. I immigrated to the US from Chile when I was 10 years old and so I know the power and beauty that comes from leaning into what makes you different from other people, and that's what I want every person in my marketing organization to feel – the value in bringing their most authentic self to work every day. The way our employees feel when they show up for themselves authentically is how they will also show up for our customers, and strong relationships drive growth.

I think this is especially true in light of a world forever changed by the pandemic. Living through such an unprecedented time has reinforced that we are all humans. We can't lead or care for one another without empathy and I think leaders everywhere have been reminded of this.

What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?

When I was growing up as an immigrant in North Carolina, I often wanted to be just like everyone else. But my mother always told me: Be unique, be memorable – you have an authentic view and experience of the world that no one else will ever have, so don't try to be anyone else but you.

What does success look like to you?

I think the concept of success is multi-faceted. From a career perspective, being in a job where you're respected and appreciated, and where you can see how your contributions are providing value by motivating your teams to be better – that's success! From a personal perspective, there is no greater accomplishment than investing in the next generation. I love mentoring younger professionals – they are the future. I want my legacy as a leader to include providing value in work culture, but also in leaving a personal impact on the lives of professionals who will carry the workforce forward. Finding a position in life with a job and company that offers me a chance at all of that is what success looks like to me.

What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?

I've always been a naturally curious person and it's easy for me to over-commit to projects that pique my interest. I've learned over years of practice how to manage that, so to my younger self I’d say… prioritize the things that are most important, and then become amazing at those things.

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