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New chairman for Pfizer

Pfizer has announced that George A Lorch, an independent director of the company, will take over as chairman of the board

Shortly after announcing that CEO Jeffrey Kindler was retiring and being replaced by company veteran Ian Read, Pfizer has announced that George A Lorch, a longtime independent director of the company, will take over as chairman of the board, effective immediately.

Lorch, 68, has been an independent director at Pfizer for 10 years and has chaired the board's Compensation Committee and has served on its Science and Technology Committee. In taking his new post as non-executive chairman, he is giving up his roles on the committees.

Lorch is chairman emeritus of Armstrong Holdings, a global manufacturer of flooring and ceiling materials, where he was chairman and CEO until 2000.  He is also on the boards of directors at Autoliv, Masonite International, The Williams Companies, HSBC Finance Co. and HSBC North America Holding Company.

"Mr Lorch has significant experience with manufacturing, marketing and branding, all critical areas for Pfizer," according to a company biography. "Mr Lorch's experience on the board of directors of Autoliv, a non-US-based public company, enables him to bring global perspectives and experience to the board, including best practices gained from other countries. Moreover, his service on three compensation committees (including ours) has given him a strong understanding of executive compensation and related areas."

Lorch voiced his support of Pfizer's new CEO in a statement on Monday. "With his depth of experience and global perspective, Ian Read is the right leader to take Pfizer forward," he said. "I look forward to working closely with Ian in my role as chairman of the board as we work to create and sustain long-term value for Pfizer shareholders and everyone with a stake in the company's future success."

14th December 2010

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