Following allegations of sexual harassment, former head of Operation Warp Speed Moncef Slaoui has left roles at two more companies.
Yesterday, Slaoui was terminated as the Galvani board of directors’ chair, GlaxoSmithKline’s board of directors announced. The same day, Vaxcyte confirmed in an SEC filing that it had axed Slaoui as its chairman of the board. Today, Centessa Pharmaceuticals announced that he stepped down as the company’s chief scientific officer.
Slaoui, who served as the head of Operation Warp Speed — the Trump administration’s program to accelerate COVID-19 vaccine development — had his termination made effective immediately by all three companies.
Termination of Slaoui follows the receipt of a letter by GlaxoSmithKline alleging against him sexual harassment and inappropriate conduct towards a GSK employee. The allegations refer to incidents that occurred several years ago when he was a GSK employee.
“Based on these allegations and in alignment with Vaxcyte’s corporate values and policies, the board has requested Dr. Slaoui’s resignation. Dr. Slaoui has agreed and has resigned from the board effective immediately,” Vaxcyte wrote in its release.
Both Vaxcyte and Centessa confirmed that they acted on termination following GSK’s announcement.
“The Centessa management team and board of directors were troubled to learn of yesterday’s news regarding Dr. Slaoui,” Centessa CEO Dr. Saurabh Saha said. Centessa is absolutely committed to fostering a culture of respect that is free from harassment and discrimination of any kind and are steadfastly committed to maintaining a work environment that is reflective of our strong values as a company.”