Pfizer CEO to step down at end of year

Pfizer CEO to step down at end of year
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Pfizer CEO Ian Read will step down at the end of the year after eight years of leading the pharmaceutical giant. 

Albert Bourla, Pfizer's current chief operating officer, will succeed Read on Jan. 1.

“It’s been an honor to serve as Pfizer’s CEO for the past eight years,” Read said in a statement. 

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“Now is the right time for a leadership change, and Albert is the right person to guide Pfizer through the coming era."

Read will serve as the executive chairman of Pfizer's board of directors. 

"I look forward to working with Albert and the Board to continue serving patients and delivering value for shareholders," Read said. 

Read, 65, cited his age as one reason for retiring in an interview with The Wall Street Journal.

“Given my age, it’s time for me to move on," he said

Read and Pfizer faced blowback from President TrumpDonald John TrumpCould Donald Trump and Boris Johnson be this generation's Reagan-Thatcher? Merkel backs Democratic congresswomen over Trump How China's currency manipulation cheats America on trade MORE this summer after it increased the list prices for dozens of drugs. 

Trump accused Pfizer of "taking advantage of the poor," leading the company to rescind its increases until the end of the year.

Read told the Journal that the episode turned out positively because it led to a "frank discussion" with the administration about drug pricing.