Top Stories

September 27, 2022


GSK appoints Burberry’s Brown as its first female CFO

Pharmaceutical company GSK has appointed its first female chief financial officer, Julie Brown, to succeed Iain Mackay, as the drugmaker focuses on its core pharmaceuticals business. With Emma Walmsley as GSK's chief executive, Brown's appointment also creates a rare, all-female top management at a blue-chip British company and a global pharma major. Brown, who has extensive experience in the health and pharmaceutical industry, will join GSK from luxury fashion brand Burberry.  Brown joined Burberry in 2017 from medical products maker Smith & Nephew and was a board member at Swiss drugmaker Roche. Mackay’s retirement comes follows GSK's spin off from its large consumer health business, Haleon, in July. It also follows the departure of chief scientific officer Hal Barron in August. (Reuters)


Big tech groups face probe by UK regulator over cloud services

The UK has launched a probe into the cloud market to assess whether Amazon, Microsoft and Google are limiting competition and innovation, as it steps up its scrutiny of Big Tech. Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google, referred to as ‘hyperscalers’ because of the size of the data centres used to process and store data, generate about 81% of revenues in the £15 billion UK cloud market, having increased their share from 70% in 2018, according to communications regulator Ofcom. The regulator said it “will examine the strength of competition in cloud services generally and the position the three hyperscalers hold in the market”. Ofcom will also start a broader probe into apps for accessing audio-visual content, including WhatsApp, FaceTime and Zoom, to understand how these services are affecting telecoms services. (Financial Times)*


EasyJet to scrap carbon offsetting to focus on cutting emissions

Airline EasyJet said it will scrap its carbon offsetting scheme at the end of 2022 and instead target a 78% drop in emissions by 2050 via efficient aircraft, sustainable aviation fuel and operating improvements. The budget airline said it had contracted all its sustainable aviation fuel needs for the next five years from its supplier Q8Aviation, while it was also investing in technology to optimise the descent of its aircraft. The new measures follow its fleet upgrade programme using fuel-efficient Airbus ‘A320neo’ family aircraft, and a partnership with engine maker Rolls-Royce to test the use of hydrogen in turbofan engines. EasyJet said its carbon-offsetting scheme was always an interim measure until new technology started to come on stream. EasyJet has been offsetting emissions from fuel used since November 2019. (Reuters)


Germany government sued by citizens over toxic air pollution

A group of German residents are suing their government over “dangerously” high air pollution levels. They claim their right to breathe clean and healthy air is being violated, and that the government is failing to protect their health. Like many countries, Germany’s air pollution levels often far exceed World Health Organization limits. It is the first-time individuals in Germany have taken action citing human rights legislation. The group of seven claimants, which includes parents acting on behalf of children, say their health is at risk with a number of them having asthma. Germany’s Environment Agency said that federal states are responsible for assessing air quality, and take action if limits are breached. Globally, air pollution is associated with 7 million premature deaths annually. (BBC News)


France announces €45 billion effort to combat energy costs

The French government has announced plans to spend €45 billion shielding households and businesses from energy price shocks in a budget focused on bringing down inflation. The finance minister, Bruno Le Maire, said the increase in the cost of gas and electricity would be capped at 15% from January 2023. Gas and electricity price rises are currently capped at 4% until the end of 2022 in what is known as the “tariff shield”. Levies on energy companies are expected to reduce the net cost to the country of the price cap from €45 billion to €12 billion. Le Maire said €3 billion would be set aside to help French companies threatened by energy prices. Income tax bands are also set to be increased in 2023 by 5% to partially mitigate the effects of inflation. (The Guardian)






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