Read succeeds Kindler as CEO, prez of Pfizer

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The board of directors at Pfizer has elected Ian C. Read, 57, currently head of its global biopharmaceutical operations, as president, CEO and director. Read succeeds Jeffrey B. Kindler, who has retired from the company.

"My nearly nine years at Pfizer and, particularly the last four and a half as CEO, have been extremely exciting and rewarding,” Kindler said. “However, 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.  … I am excited at the opportunity to recharge my batteries, spend some rare time with my family and prepare for the next challenge in my career."

Since 2006, Read has led Pfizer's worldwide biopharmaceutical units, which now comprise five global business units—primary care, specialty care, oncology, established products and emerging markets—and accounts for approximately 85 percent of Pfizer's annual revenues, according to the New York City-based company. Read joined Pfizer in 1978 and assumed positions of 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. Read later added the Africa/Middle East and Latin American regions to his leadership responsibility.

The board will elect a non-executive chairman from its current membership at its next regularly scheduled meeting that will take place within the next two weeks.