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Ian Read elected chairman of Pfizer

Current president and CEO adds chairman of the board to his list of roles at the US pharmaceutical company

Ian ReadPfizer's president and CEO Ian Read has been elected chairman of the company's board of directors.

It's a mark of Pfizer's confidence in Read, who was only appointed CEO in December last year following the departure of Jeff Kindler.

In his new, additional, role Read will succeed George Lorch, who becomes the US pharmaceutical company's lead independent director.

Lorch commended Read's work, saying he had “clearly demonstrated the leadership and vision necessary to drive Pfizer's strategies and achieve the company's objectives in the continued challenging industry and macroeconomic environment”.

These challenges include the recent loss of US patent protection for Pfizer's biggest selling product Lipitor, which the company has responded to with a series of initiatives based chiefly on brand loyalty.

Read said he was “honoured” to be elected to his new role, and that Pfizer had a strong future.

“Working alongside Pfizer's dedicated leaders and talented workforce, I remain confident in the strength of our business and of our late-stage pipeline,” he commented.

The company has 10 new molecular entities in phase III trials, including bapineuzumab (a collaboration with Janssen) and Eliquis (apixaban) for the prevention of venous thromboembolism.
Pfizer has also boosted the scientific expertise on board of directors with two new appointments.

Dr Marc Tessier-Lavigne, president of The Rockefeller University, and Dr Helen Hobbs, professor of internal medicine and molecular genetics at the University of Texas, will both provide their expertise and counsel to Pfizer.

Dr Tessier-Lavigne is the former executive vice president of research and chief scientific officer at Genentech, and has served on the faculties of several universities.

He is also an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences and its Institute of Medicine, and a fellow of the UK's Royal Society, the Royal Society of Canada, the UK's Academy of Medical Sciences, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Dr Hobbs is a researcher at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and director of the McDermott Center for Human Growth and Development at the University of Texas.

She is a member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation; the Association of American Physicians; and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

“The expansion of our board helps ensure that Pfizer will continue to benefit from a diversity of experience,” said Read.

14th December 2011

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