The board of directors of Galvani Bioelectronics has fired the former chief of Operation Warp Speed Dr. Moncef Slaoui over “substantiated” sexual harassment allegations by a woman.
Galvani is a partnership between the Google spinoff Verily GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).
Slaoui ’s termination came after the board received a letter “containing allegations of sexual harassment and inappropriate conduct towards an employee of GSK by Dr. Slaoui,” in February GSK said in a statement
“Upon receipt of the letter, the GSK Board immediately initiated an investigation with an experienced law firm to investigate the allegations,” GSK said. The investigation of Dr. Slaoui’s conduct substantiated the allegations and is ongoing.”
“Dr. Slaoui’s behaviours are wholly unacceptable,” GSK said.
Slaoui, 61, had spent 30 years at GSK, overseeing vaccine development. He was hired in May by the Trump administration to lead Operation Warp Speed in the country’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
“We are in an age of progress with a female CEO, growing ranks of female leaders, new commitments to diverse representation, and a culture that values speaking up. I expect everyone to represent GSK with integrity — especially senior leaders,” GSK CEO Emma Walmsley wrote in a letter to employees. “On a personal level, I am shocked and angry about all of this, but I’m resolute. I want to be clear that sexual harassment is strictly prohibited and will not be tolerated. Abuse of leadership position, in any form, will not be tolerated.”
She also wrote that GSK will remove Slaoui’s name from and rename its research and development center in Rockville, Maryland. It had been called The Slaoui Center for Vaccines Research.