On the other hand, Gottlieb has close ties to the pharmaceutical industry, which has been an opponent of consumer nicotine products in general, and vaping specifically. Gottlieb is a partner in a venture capital firm, where he is involved with health-related investments.
He has also served as a consultant or board member for several pharma companies, including GlaxoSmithKline, maker of Nicorette gum and NicoDerm nicotine patches. He received more than $400,000 from pharma companies from 2013 to 2015, according to the New York Times.
According to Reuters, a recent survey of 53 pharmaceutical executives found that 72 percent preferred Gottlieb over other candidates who had been in the running. Pharma bosses seem relieved that Gottlieb was chosen.
Gottlieb has served at the FDA before, doing several jobs at the agency during the George W. Bush administration, including deputy commissioner for medical and scientific affairs. Gottlieb seems to be respected even by those who disagree with his conservative stances on some health care issues. Former FDA lawyer John Taylor told the Times that Gottlieb was open minded and showed great attention to detail. “Scott and I have different ideological backgrounds, but I recognize that he does have a record of doing things that are for the benefit of the consumers.”