Pfizer CEO Ian Read to stand down

Ex-chief of innovative health unit Bourla to assume control as Read becomes executive chairman

Ian Read, outgoing chief executive of Pfizer. Photograph: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Ian Read, outgoing chief executive of Pfizer. Photograph: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

 

Ian Read will step down as chief executive of Pfizer after almost eight years at the helm of one of the world’s biggest pharmaceuticals companies, the drugmaker said on Monday.

Mr Read, who is also chairman of the company, said “now is the right time for a leadership change”. He will transition from his current dual role and take up the mantle of executive chairman on January 1st, 2019.

Albert Bourla, Pfizer’s chief operating officer, will take over as chief executive effective on that date. Before becoming COO, Dr Bourla led the company’s Innovative Health unit.

Mr Read is a 25-year veteran of the company and became chief executive in December 2010. He took up the chairmanship a year later.

Shantanu Narayen, lead independent director of Pfizer’s board, thanked Mr Read in a statement: “During an extraordinary period for the company, he successfully managed through $23 billion of lost revenue due to product losses of exclusivity, while at the same time driving strong and consistent financial performance and investing for the future.

‘Deep and strong’

“Consequently, Pfizer now has a pipeline that we believe is as deep and strong as ever.

In addition, Ian has built a unique ownership culture that increased accountability and encouraged collaboration. As such, the company is now better positioned for success.”

Pfizer shares were up 0.4 per cent in pre-market trade in New York on Monday morning, after closing at a more than 17-year high of $44.07 on Friday. – Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2018