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Pfizer names chairman in wake of Kindler's exit
December 13th, 2010
NEW YORK – George Lorch has been elected as nonexecutive chairman of the board at Pfizer Inc.
The move comes after the exit of chairman, president and chief executive officer Jeffrey Kindler, who Pfizer said last week has retired. Pfizer named Ian Read, the head of its global biopharmaceutical operations, to take over as president and CEO and become a director on the board. With that announcement, the pharmaceutical giant said its board would elect a nonexecutive chairman from its current membership at its next regularly scheduled meeting.
Lorch, 68, has served as an independent director on Pfizer's board since 2000.
"George Lorch has been a valuable, independent voice on the Pfizer board for over 10 years, and he is ideally suited to lead the board as nonexecutive Chairman. George has been a strong leader on our board and as chair of our compensation committee," lead independent director Constance Horner said in a statement.
Pfizer said Lorch has relinquished his positions on the compensation and science and technology committees to focus on his role as chairman. The company added that the board also elected James Kilts as chairman of the compensation committee and that Horner has relinquished the role of lead independent director, given the election of an independent nonexecutive chairman.
"With his depth of experience and global perspective, Ian Read is the right leader to take Pfizer forward," Lorch stated. "Pfizer is an outstanding company that makes important contributions to improve the health and well-being of millions of patients worldwide. 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."