UPDATE 1-GSK replaces China chief amid corruption probe
LONDON, July 25 (Reuters) - GlaxoSmithKline has appointed Herve Gisserot as its new head of operations in China, amid a corruption scandal in the country that has rocked Britain's biggest drugmaker.
Gisserot will take over as general manager from Mark Reilly, who will remain with the drugmaker as a senior member of the management team, a spokesman said on Thursday.
Reilly will still help lead the company's response to the Chinese government's bribery investigation. He has been working at GSK's headquarters on the outskirts of London since arriving in early July for routine meetings, people familiar with the situation said previously.
"From what we understand and have been told by the authorities there are no allegations of wrongdoing against Mark (Reilly)," the spokesman said.
At the same time, travel restrictions on GSK's finance head for China, Steve Nechelput, which had prevented him from leaving the country, are believed to have been lifted, the spokesman added.
Chinese police, who have detained four Chinese GSK executives, allege the drugmaker funnelled up to 3 billion yuan ($489 million) to travel agencies to facilitate bribes to doctors and officials.
GSK has admitted that some Chinese executives appeared to have broken the law and its chief executive, Andrew Witty, said on Wednesday the episode was "deeply disappointing".