PhRMA quickly names new leader following Kindler resignation

Following Jeffrey Kindler’s surprise resignation as Pfizer’s president and chief executive, the top pharmaceutical association moved quickly to replace Kindler with a new board chairman Monday afternoon.

Christopher Viehbacher, chief executive officer of Sanofi-Aventis, was tapped to head the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America’s (PhRMA) board of directors, replacing Kindler after his resignation from the world’s largest drugmaker this weekend.

Kindler, 55, who had been Pfizer’s CEO since 2006, was chosen to lead the PhRMA board in March of this year. In a PhRMA statement announcing the leadership move, Viehbacher said he was dedicated to addressing chronic disease.

“As an industry, we will continue putting patients first by delivering innovative, difference-making medicines that address unmet medical needs,” Viehbacher said in a statement. “Given the increased prevalence and costs of chronic disease, our industry needs to work with other healthcare stakeholders to encourage the prevention and better management of chronic disease.”

Pfizer had already announced that Ian Read, head of global biopharmaceutical operations for the past four years, will succeed Kindler as president and CEO.