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Jeffrey Kindler is the CEO of the Pfizer corporation.

Background

Jeffrey Kindler graduated summa cum laude from Tufts Universitymarker in 1977 and magna cum laude from Harvard Law Schoolmarker in 1980. He subsequently clerked for Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan Jr. and worked at the law firm Williams & Connolly in Washington, D.C. He then moved to the corporate sector with a period as Vice President and Senior Counselor for General Electric Co. and later as Executive Vice President of Corporate Relations and General Counsel for McDonald's. He rose to become President of Partner Brands (including Boston Market and Chipotle Mexican Grill) for McDonald's until 2002, when he moved to Pfizer to serve as General Counsel. Kindler's role at Pfizer quickly took on critical importance as the company faced a vast array of generic assaults on its patents, most notably on the $12 billion drug Lipitor, and the rising threat of counterfeit drugs.

Pfizer leadership

On February 24, 2005, along with Karen Katen and David Shedlarz, Kindler was named Vice Chairman of Pfizer's board, setting off a three-way competition to succeed then-CEO Hank McKinnell. Many expected Katen, a long-time veteran of the commercial team and head of Pfizer's Human Health Group, to succeed McKinnell over the top lawyer Kindler and the top financier Shedlarz.

However, on July 28, 2006, Pfizer's board of directors selected Kindler to succeed McKinnell as CEO immediately. In choosing Kindler, a relatively new Pfizer employee, the board not only accelerated McKinnell's retirement plans but also sent a strong endorsement for change at the 150-year old company by turning down Katen and Shedlarz, both of whom had been with Pfizer for more than 30 years. Furthermore, the selection of a lawyer to the top post at the world's largest and most venerable pharmaceutical company highlighted the growing dominance of legal issues in the pharmaceutical industry.

On December 18, 2006, Kindler was elected by Pfizer's board of directors to serve as Chairman.

Compensation

While CEO of Pfizer in 2008, Jeffrey B. Kindler earned a total compensation of $14,788,302, which included a base salary of $1,575,000, a cash bonus of $3,000,000, stocks granted of $7,553,015, and options granted of $2,222,026.

Acquisition of Wyeth

On 26 January 2009, after more than a year of talks between the two companies, Pfizer agreed to buy pharmaceuticals rival Wyeth for a combined US$68 billion in cash, shares and loans, including some US$22.5 billion lent by five major Wall Street banks. This continued the legacy of McKinnell's tenure which was dominated by mega-mergers. Critics charged that the mega-mergers of McKinnell's tenure failed to increase shareholder value. (See Acquisition of Wyeth).

As of October 16, 2009, Wyeth became a wholly owned company of Pfizer.

References


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