Frank D’Amelio is retiring as CFO of Pfizer after a 14-year tenure during which he played key roles in transformative transactions and the drugmaker’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Pfizer said Wednesday it had begun an external search for D’Amelio’s successor and that he had agreed to stay with the company through the process and serve in a consulting role through the transition.
In addition to his finance chief role, D’Amelio has served as executive vice president for global supply since he joined Pfizer in 2007.
“I want to thank Frank for his many years of service to Pfizer as CFO and for the impact he has had on the company and the patients we serve,” CEO Albert Bourla said in a news release.
“Frank has driven a strategic vision for the company’s financial success, and he leaves Pfizer in a strong position for future growth having been instrumental in our multi-year transformation to an industry-leading, science-based biopharmaceutical company,” he said.
As part of that transformation, D’Amelio oversaw the divestitures of Pfizer’s animal health, consumer health, and mature products businesses and the $68 billion acquisition of Wyeth in 2009. During his tenure as CFO, Pfizer generated close to $150 billion in market cap growth.
Most recently, Pfizer said, he “helped guide the organization through one of its most challenging periods as it worked to address the COVID-19 crisis.”
D’Amelio’s successor will be responsible for deploying the cash that Pfizer is generating from its COVID-19 vaccines. The company is also seeking FDA emergency approval for a pill to treat the virus.
Possible uses of the vaccine cash include acquisitions, partnerships, or share repurchases, according to Damien Conover, an analyst at Morningstar. “It’s going to be a huge windfall,” he told The Wall Street Journal. “They’re going to have to execute really well on redeploying that capital.”
Before joining Pfizer, D’Amelio acquired almost three decades of extensive operating and financial experience at AT&T, Lucent Technologies, and Alcatel-Lucent. He started his career in 1979 at Bell Labs.
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