Pfizer's long-serving CEO Ian Read is standing down and being replaced by his chief operating officer

Ian ReadPfizer Inc. CEO Ian Read arrives at the White House to attend a meeting of business leaders expected to meet with President Barack Obama and Vice President Biden at the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012.Jacquelyn Martin/AP

  • Pfizer announces that CEO Ian Read will stand down from the start of 2019.
  • He will be replaced by Dr. Albert Bourla, who is currently Pfizer's chief operating officer.
  • "It's been an honor to serve as Pfizer's CEO for the past eight years," Read said in a statement.

Ian Read, the long-serving chief executive officer of pharmaceutical giant Pfizer is set to step down, the company announced on Monday.

Read, who has been at the helm of the firm since 2010, will stand down on January 1. He will be replaced by Dr. Albert Bourla, who is currently Pfizer's chief operating officer.

After standing down as both CEO and chairman, Read will become executive chairman of Pfizer's board of directors.

"It's been an honor to serve as Pfizer's CEO for the past eight years," Read said in a statement. "However, now is the right time for a leadership change, and Albert is the right person to guide Pfizer through the coming era."

In the eight years that Read helmed, the company won 30 approvals from the U.S. health regulator as well as weathered patent expiration of a few of its blockbusters, including cholesterol drug, Lipitor.

Before becoming the role of COO at the start of the year, Bourla, 56, led the drugmaker's Innovative Health business, which recorded revenue of $31.4 billion in 2017.

"Today's leadership announcement is part of a thoughtful, multi-year succession planning process," Shantanu Narayen, Pfizer's lead independent director said.


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