Ian Read to replace Jeffrey Kindler as Pfizer's CEO

NEW YORK — Pfizer president and CEO Jeffrey Kindler has retired from the company, the drug maker said Sunday. Ian Read, who currently heads Pfizer’s global biopharmaceutical operations and has worked for the company since 1978, will succeed him.

Kindler cited personal reasons for retiring, saying his around-the-clock work schedule had been “extremely demanding” on him personally, and that he would take time to spend with his family before making his next moves.

“My nearly nine years at Pfizer and, particularly the last four and a half as CEO, have been extremely exciting and rewarding,” Kindler said in a statement. “I feel our team can proudly boast of some transformational accomplishments.”

Kindler oversaw Pfizer’s transformation from a large pharmaceutical company into a highly diversified manufacturer of products ranging from pharmaceuticals for relatively common conditions to biotech drugs and over-the-counter medications, particularly through the company’s acquisition last year of Wyeth.

“In 2006, Jeff Kindler took on the challenge of transforming Pfizer in the face of enormous changes in the global healthcare marketplace and significant patent expirations of major products, including Lipitor,” Pfizer board lead independent director Constance Horner said. “Acting with the highest level of ethics and professionalism, he moved aggressively to drive change at the company, including putting new, more focused and agile business units in place, building and enhancing world-class compliance systems, recruiting talented new leaders and refocusing and streamlining operations in every part of the world.”

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