GSK dismisses the previous chief of Operation Warp Velocity, Moncef Slaoui, for sexual harassment

Moncef Slaoui speaks with President Donald Trump about Operation Warp Speed ​​in the Rose Garden of the White House on Friday November 13, 2020 in Washington, DC.

Jabin Botsford | The Washington Post | Getty Images

Moncef Slaoui, chief scientist for the US federal government’s Covid vaccine development, Operation Warp Speed, during the Trump administration, was dismissed as CEO of Galvani Bioelectronics on Wednesday on “substantiated” allegations of sexual harassment.

Slaoui’s termination by the board of Galvanis majority shareholder GlaxoSmithKline came after receiving a letter “alleging sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior towards an employee of GSK by Dr. Slaoui, which took place a few years ago as an employee of GSK”, according to GSK.

“After receiving the letter, the GSK board immediately launched an investigation into an experienced law firm to investigate the allegations,” said the GSK statement.

“The investigation into Dr. Slaoui’s behavior has substantiated the allegations and is ongoing.”

GSK said in its statement: “Dr. Slaoui’s behavior is completely unacceptable.”

“They represent an abuse of his leadership position, violate company guidelines and contradict the strong values ​​that define GSK’s culture,” the statement said.

“The company expects everyone at GSK to behave according to their values, especially their executives, who have the highest standards. Sexual harassment and abuse of leadership positions are strictly prohibited and will not be tolerated.”

Slaoui advised the European Union on the introduction of coronavirus vaccines.

He spent 30 years at GSK overseeing vaccine development.

Galvani Bioelectronics is a medical research company focused on developing bioelectronic drugs for the treatment of chronic diseases. It was formed through a partnership between GSK and Verily Life Sciences, previously known as Google Life Sciences. Verily, it is a subsidiary of Alphabet, the parent company of Google.

Slaoui submitted his resignation as Chief Advisor to Operation Warp Speed ​​to the then-incoming administration of President Joe Biden in January.

Slaoui was criticized last year when he took on the OWS role for his drug links.

At the time of his appointment, he was on the board of Moderna, from which he resigned. He also sold his shares in that company, saying that he had donated its increase in value during the several days he held it during Operation Warp Speed.

But he had refused to sell his GSK stock, calling it his retirement plan.

Christopher Corsico, GSK’s senior vice president of development and current board member of Galvani, has been named Galvani’s new chairman.

GSK also said that Amy Altshul, senior vice president of legal, research and development, and global commercial franchises, has joined Galvani’s board of directors.

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