Markets await US jobs report; Lagarde says eurozone recovery still fragile – business live

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The drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline has issued a firm rejection of the main demands made by the activist investor Elliott Management, and insisted its chief executive, Emma Walmsley, would lead the new pharmaceuticals and vaccines company after a corporate split next year.

A day after the New York hedge fund published a 17-page letter , in effect demanding Walmsley reapply for her job before the demerger of its consumer healthcare division next year, GSK hit back witha three-page statement defending the company’s strategy.

Elliott demanded GSK appoint new board directors with deep pharmaceutical and consumer health expertise to launch a process to select “the best executive leadership” for the two new companies, in effect forcing Walmsley to reapply for her job.

The drugmaker firmly rejected this demand:

“With New GSK representing the majority of GSK’s existing business, the board is not conducting a selection process post-separation. The board strongly believes Emma Walmsley is the right leader of New GSK and fully supports the actions being taken by her and the management team, all of whom are subject to rigorous assessments of performance.

“Under Emma’s leadership, the board fully expects this team to deliver a step-change in performance and long-term shareholder value creation through the separation and in the years beyond.”

The former Aston Martin boss Andy Palmer has been promoted to chief executive of Switch Mobility, a maker of electric buses, as part of a drive to expand its business.

Palmer, who was ousted from Aston Martin last year after a disastrous slump in the luxury carmaker’s share price following its flotation in 2018, was already vice-chairman of the company.

Switch is owned by Ashok Leyland, the Indian maker of buses and commercial vehicles, which is controlled by the Hinduja family. Palmer, 58, will take control of Ashok Leyland’s push into electrical vehicles as it seeks to expand into making electric vans.

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The FT say it will give Palmer a chance to “salvage a managerial reputation that was left dented” by the post-IPO tumble in Aston Martin’s share price.

Ryanair’s passenger numbers surged in June, with the rollout of Covid-19 vaccination programmes across Europe boosting confidence in air travel.

The no-frills airline, which in June reported the biggest annual loss in its 35-year history, carried 5.3 million passengers on 38,000 flights last month. In June 2020, Ryanair carried only 400,000 passengers.

There has been a steady increase in passengers for Europe’s biggest airline in recent months – in April there were 1 million travellers and 1.8 million in May – as the easing of travel restrictions across parts of the continent fuels a gradual recovery in the hard-hit aviation industry.

The green shoots of recovery are also evident in traffic figures issued by Ryanair’s rival Wizz Air, which carried 1.55 million passengers last month. This is more than triple the 502,000 passengers who flew in the same month last year.