Pfizer (New York) announced this week that it has appointed Ian C. Read, currently head of the company’s global biopharmaceutical operations, as president, chief executive officer, and director. He succeeds Jeffrey B. Kindler, who retired from the company. Pfizer’s board of directors also will elect a nonexecutive chairman from its current membership at its next regularly scheduled meeting that will take place within the next two weeks.
Since 2006, Read has led Pfizer's Worldwide Biopharmaceutical Businesses, which now comprises five global business units: primary care, specialty care, oncology, established products, and emerging markets. It accounts for approximately 85% of Pfizer's annual revenues. Read joined Pfizer in 1978 and assumed positions of increasing responsibility in Latin America. In 1996, he was appointed president of Pfizer's International Pharmaceuticals Group, with responsibility for Latin America and Canada. He was named corporate vice-president in 2001, and assumed responsibility for Europe in addition to Canada. He later added the Africa/Middle East and Latin American regions to his leadership responsibility.
In leaving Pfizer, Kindler said “…the combination of meeting the requirements of our many stakeholders around the world and the 24/7 nature of my responsibilities has made this period extremely demanding on me personally,” he said in a Dec. 5, 2010, Pfizer press release. “Now that we are about to complete a full year of operating Pfizer and Wyeth together, with our world-class team fully in place, I have concluded the time is right to turn the leadership of the company over to Ian Read.”
Under Kindler’s tenure, Pfizer acquired Wyeth for $68 billion in 2009. He leaves Pfizer as the number one global pharmaceutical company. Reflecting the Wyeth acquisition, for the first nine months of 2010, Pfizer reported revenues of $50.2 billion, a 50% gain year-over-year. These revenue gains were due to $15.9 billion, or 48%, to the addition of legacy Wyeth products, by $1.2 billion, or 3%, due to foreign exchange, and negatively impacted by $285 million, or 1%, due to legacy Pfizer products, according to Pfizer’s third-quarter 2010 results.
In related news, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America announced that Christopher Viehbacher, CEO of sanofi-aventis (Paris) will assume the chairmanship of the PhRMA board of directors, replacing Kindler. “As an industry, we will continue putting patients first by delivering innovative, difference making medicines that address unmet medical needs,” said Viehbacher, in outlining the industry’s priorities in a Dec.6, 2010 PhRMA press release. “Given the increased prevalence and costs of chronic disease, our industry needs to work with other healthcare stakeholders to encourage the prevention and better management of chronic disease.”