(Bloomberg) -- GSK Plc hired Julie Brown as chief financial officer to work alongside Chief Executive Officer Emma Walmsley, putting two women in charge of the UK drugmaker -- a milestone in an industry dominated by men.

Brown will leave the fashion brand Burberry Group Plc and take up her new post on May 1 as current CFO Iain Mackay retires, GSK said Monday. 

The 60-year-old Brown isn’t new to the pharma industry. She served as CFO of Smith & Nephew Plc before joining Burberry, worked for 25 years at AstraZeneca Plc and held a role as non-executive director for Switzerland’s Roche Holding AG.

“Julie is a highly experienced CFO with a tremendous understanding of the biopharma sector,” Walmsley said in a statement.

Brown is the latest of a slew of Astra veterans to join the effort to transform GSK into a pharmaceutical powerhouse, as the company sharpens its focus on prescription drugs and vaccines amid pressure from activist investor Elliott Investment Management and lingering questions about its pipeline. Under Walmsley’s leadership, the drugmaker spun off its consumer-health unit in July in a move intended to strengthen both companies’ prospects.

Brown will have an annual base salary of £915,335 ($968,973), the same sum as an annual bonus and an award of performance shares worth an estimated £1.8 million, in line with Mackay’s current remuneration, according to GSK. 

GSK shares rose as much as 2.6% to 1,347 pence in early London trading. 

(Updates with Brown’s age in third paragraph, GSK shares in last)

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