28 September 2020
GSK CEO Emma Walmsley will take part in a fireside chat and audience Q&A with The Economist’s Editor-in-Chief Zanny Minton Beddoes for this year’s Helen Alexander Memorial Lecture.
The annual memorial event – now in its third year - will take place on 29th September in London. The lecture (in an online format this year because of covid-19) is devoted to the memory of Dame Helen Alexander, a pioneering and much-loved figure in British business, and is supported by Helen’s family and by four organisations with which she was closely associated: The Confederation of British Industry (CBI), The Economist, the University of Southampton and Informa.
The overarching theme of the lecture is “Women on Business”. Each year, a prominent woman speaks on an important aspect of business to an audience of business leaders.
Emma is expected to talk about what the quest for covid-19 vaccines has revealed about the purpose of business. She will also focus on the impact of the pandemic for pharmaceutical companies and wider economy, as well as the role of business leaders during this unprecedented period.
Emma Walmsley, GSK CEO, said:
“Helen was an inspiring leader who knew the importance of purpose in business. In healthcare, never has our purpose been more relevant or more urgent to help find COVID solutions and to help protect the world against future health crises.”
Dame Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI Director-General, said:
“Helen demonstrated outstanding leadership throughout her life and is so missed as we wrestle with challenges that we know she would have risen to with such strength and vision.
“I can think of no better person than Emma to mark Helen’s memory. Emma is herself an exceptional leader and understands so well the importance of trust and purpose as we face into one of the greatest challenges of modern times. We could not be more delighted to welcome Emma to speak in Helen’s honour and at this unprecedented time.”
Zanny Minton Beddoes, Editor-in-Chief at The Economist, said:
“At a time of the search for a vaccine for covid-19, there could be no more timely speaker on the theme of purpose in business than Emma Walmsley of GSK. And what an appropriate theme to honour the memory of Helen Alexander, who inspired a sense of purpose in all the organisations she led.”