Merger wrangle delays rector job

June 30, 2000

Sir Richard Sykes's expected appointment as rector of Imperial College, London, has been delayed by wrangling over the merger of Glaxo Wellcome - the pharmaceuticals giant that he currently heads - with SmithKline Beecham.

The official announcement that Sir Richard would become rector of Imperial College was expected last month.

The United States Federal Trade Commission has yet to give regulatory clearance for the merger of the two companies, and Sir Richard will not step down as head of Glaxo Wellcome until the merger is complete.

A spokesman for Glaxo Wellcome said: "Discussions are continuing and we anticipate completion of the merger over the summer."

Members of the council of Imperial College meet today to discuss progress. The council has been told that a name has been put forward but that the person has some business he needs to sort out before he can accept the position.

A spokesman for the college said that no one had yet been approached about the job.

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