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Sir Jonathan Symonds CBE

Chair, GlaxoSmithKline

  • Non-Executive Director, Rubius Therapeutics, Inc
  • Non-Executive Director, Genomics England Limited having previously served as its Chairman
  • Member, European Round Table for Industry
  • Senior Advisor to Chatham House

Jon was appointed to the Board of GlaxoSmithKline as Chairman on 1 September 2019.


Jon has extensive international financial, life sciences and governance experience. In July 2021, Jon co-chaired with Professor Sir John Bell the preparation of the UK Life Science Vision, which sets out a strategy for UK life sciences in the post-Covid world and seeks to capitalise on many of the UK’s scientific successes through the pandemic.


In financial services, Jon served as an Independent Non-Executive Director of HSBC Holdings plc from April 2014, and as Deputy Group Chairman from August 2018, until his retirement from the Board in February 2020. He was previously Chairman of HSBC Bank plc from April 2014 to July 2018 and oversaw the formation of the ring-fence bank HSBC UK plc. He was also a partner and managing director at Goldman Sachs between July 2007 and September 2009.


In Life Sciences Jon was Chief Financial Officer of Novartis AG from September 2009 to January 2014 and Chief Financial Officer of AstraZeneca plc from October 1997 and July 2007, a period which included the negotiation and completion of the merger with Astra. As a CFO Jon chaired the 100 Group of Finance Directors, co-chaired the HMRC business tax committee and co-founded the Centre for Business Taxation at the Said Business School.


Prior to joining Zeneca in 1997, Jon was a Partner at KPMG, specialising in large scale business transformation in the chemicals and pharmaceuticals industries. His additional governance experience includes roles as Non-Executive Director and Chair of the Audit Committees of Diageo plc and QinetiQ Group plc and Non-Executive Chair of Proteus Digital Health Inc.


Jon is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.