Pfizer, the world's largest pharmaceutical company has announced that CEO Jeffrey Kindler has retired, paving the way for global biopharmaceutical operations, Ian Read, as his successor.
Jeffrey Kindler cited his retirement was due to the "extremely demanding" role and the effects it had on him personally.
"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," said Kindler in a prepared statement released late Sunday. "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."
Ian Read will inherit a company who has reduced its workforce by 6000 employees, and its shares fall by 35 percent to $16.73, as of Dec. 3 in New York Stock Exchange trading. Pfizer will also lose patent protection in the U.S. next year for Lipitor, which had $11.4 billion in sales last year. While the drugmaker moved to make up for the loss by paying $68 billion last year to acquire Wyeth, adding the Enbrel arthritis treatment and Prevnar pneumonia vaccine, it also has had four setbacks this year in developing its research pipeline.
Pfizer also said yesterday it was creating a $75 million fund and new compliance panel to settle shareholders' lawsuits that charge top company officials failed to stop illegal marketing of drugs. Pfizer last year paid $2.3 billion to settle US claims it marketed treatments for unapproved purposes.
"It is in the best interests of the company and our shareholders to reach an agreement that allows us to put this matter behind us on favorable terms," Pfizer's Kerins said in an e-mail to Bloomberg. "Subject to court approval, the agreement includes measures that reinforce and build on existing provisions of our compliance program and that formalize actions the directors and officers undertook in connection with matters at issue."
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