04 March 2004 | David Arminas
Joe Meier has been appointed senior vice-president, global procurement, for third-party management at pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline.
He replaces Willie Deese, who moved to rival pharmaceutical research company Merck as senior vice-president of procurement recently.
GSK was formed from the merger of SmithKline Beecham and Glaxo Wellcome in 2001 and immediately set a savings target of £800 million.
Meier, who was previously vice-president of production procurement, told SM: "We've already achieved that target and have set new ones."
Meier, based in Philadelphia, would not comment on the new targets, but said GSK is launching a major drive to improve supply chain performance to help meet them.
Part of this drive is a major supplier forum scheduled in the UK later this month where more than 60 suppliers will attend.
"We want them to understand what the challenges are to the industry in general and GSK specifically," he said.
"As an industry, pressure on government healthcare costs as well as generic-drugs challenges us in the short term. Procurement will be working closely with R&D on these challenges."
He described GSK's sourcing management as "pretty robust" and will be looking to work more closely with suppliers for mutual success, sharing operational excellence and best practice.
Meier has worked for GSK and its earlier companies for over 30 years, starting his career as a researcher in radio chemistry with Smith Kline & French.