Pfizer CEO Ian Read to step down next year

Pfizer CEO Ian Read to step down next year
FILE PHOTO: Pfizer Chief Executive Ian Read leaves after appearing at a commons science committee hearing at Portcullis House in London May 14, 2014. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor -
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(Reuters) - Drugmaker Pfizer Inc said on Monday Chief Executive Officer Ian Read would step down at the start of next year and would be replaced by Chief Operating Officer Albert Bourla.

Read, who was appointed CEO in December 2010, will become the executive chairman of Pfizer's board from Jan. 1.

"It's been an honor to serve as Pfizer's CEO for the past eight years," Read said. "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.

(Reporting by Tamara Mathias in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)

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