PETER ROST: PHARMA MARKETING EXPERT WITNESS. AWP, MEDICAL DEVICE EXPERT.: "Pfizer Cuts Marketing Execs, Not Marketing"
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PETER ROST: PHARMA MARKETING EXPERT WITNESS. AWP, MEDICAL DEVICE EXPERT.

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"Pfizer Cuts Marketing Execs, Not Marketing"

Pfizer Cuts Marketing Execs, Not Marketing
September 29, 2006

By Jim Edwards

NEW YORK -- Things at Pfizer are likely to get smaller, faster and more efficient, according to CEO Jeffrey Kindler and vice chairman David Shedlarz.

The pruning shears already appear to be at work in the company's marketing offices. Four senior executives were reported this week to have left the company: Greg Duncan, head of Pfizer’s Latin America operations; Julie Fisher, a vp-group leader/head of neuroscience therapeutics; Neil Levine, senior director/group leader for ophthalmology and endocrine care; and Theresa Natalicchio, vp/head of arthritis, according to Medical Marketing & Media.

Pfizer did not confirm or deny the departures Thursday. In a statement, company rep Paul Fitzhenry said, "We're making decisions across the company . . . Pfizer will become more cost-efficient and cost-effective by reducing organizational layers to speed decision-making."

Two other execs with marketing responsibilities have left since Kindler was named CEO in July. Pat Kelly, president of U.S. pharmaceuticals, and Karen Katen, a vice chairman, departed shortly after Katen was bypassed for the CEO job vacated by Hank McKinnell.

Fitzhenry said management cuts would not mean reduced marketing budgets. Pfizer this year is launching Exubera, a diabetes treatment; Chantix, a smoking-cessation product; and Sutent, a kidney-cancer drug. "Those three are important launches," Fitzhenry said.

At a Bank of America investment conference Sept. 20, Kindler told the audience, "We're moving more quickly, taking risks . . . we're adopting the spirit of a small company, the entrepreneurial, agile culture that characterizes a small enterprise. The changes in our management team . . . are part of a larger undertaking that will make our company more nimble and entrepreneurial and therefore more likely to win."

At a UBS Global Life Sciences Conference on Sept. 26 in New York, Shedlarz stated, "Jeff's announcement of his new management team . . . illustrates his commitment to eliminating bureaucracy and speeding decision-making in our company. Pfizer is creating a flatter organization to accelerate decision-making."

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