Pfizer: Ian Read to step down as CEO

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Pfizer today announced that Dr. Albert Bourla its Chief Operating Officer (COO) will succeed Ian Read as CEO effective January 1, 2019. Ian Read will transition from his current role as Chairman and CEO to Executive Chairman of Pfizer’s Board of Directors.

“It’s been an honor to serve as Pfizer’s CEO for the past eight years,” stated Ian Read.

He continued “however, now is the right time for a leadership change, and Albert is the right person to guide Pfizer through the coming era. Albert is an energizing leader who has an unwavering commitment to serving patients. With 25 years at Pfizer, he has developed an extensive knowledge of the industry and demonstrated an ability to build and grow businesses. With Albert at the helm, our dedicated colleagues across the globe are poised to deliver the next stage of growth. I look forward to working with Albert and the Board to continue serving patients and delivering value for shareholders.”

Ian Read was named CEO of Pfizer on December 6, 2010, and Chairman of its Board of Directors on December 12, 2011.

Since Mr. Read assumed the CEO role in 2010, Pfizer has recorded several achievements:

  • 30 FDA approvals
  • $120+ billion direct return of capital to shareholders
  • Strong pipeline
  • 70% increase in annual dividends to $1.36 from $0.80
  • Donated more than 580 million doses of Zithromax (azithromycin) to treat trachoma, the leading cause of infectious blindness.

Prior to assuming the role of COO, Dr. Bourla led Pfizer’s Innovative Health business and established the Innovative Health Emerging Markets region.

During his time at Pfizer, he has also led the Vaccines, Oncology and Consumer Healthcare business unit and spearheaded several key transactions to advance Pfizer’s Oncology, Inflammation and Immunology, Vaccines and Rare Disease portfolios.

Commenting on his election, Albert Bourla stated:

“I am humbled and privileged to be the next CEO of Pfizer, and I appreciate the confidence that both Ian and the Board of Directors have placed in me. I also want to thank Ian for his constant support, and am fortunate to have him as both a mentor and friend. I welcome Ian’s continuing contributions as Executive Chairman. This is a dynamic time for Pfizer, and I look forward to working with our colleagues to deliver critical medicines to patients all over the globe, which remains the compass for all we do at Pfizer.”


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