President (1971 – 1972)
Chief Executive Officer (1972 – 1991)
Chairman of the Board (1972 –1992)
Ed Pratt expanded Pfizer operations into almost every country of the world during the 1970s, firmly establishing the company's position of leadership as a global entity. His involvement in city, state, and national affairs also brought Pfizer widespread recognition as a responsible and responsive corporate citizen.
Pratt, a graduate of Duke University and the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business, joined Pfizer as controller in 1964, following public service as assistant secretary of the Army for Financial Management during the Kennedy Administration. In 1969, Pratt became chairman and president of Pfizer International; two years later, in 1971, he was elected president of Pfizer, and the following year succeeded Jack Powers as chairman and CEO.
During Pratt's two decades at the helm, Pfizer evolved into one of the fastest-growing pharmaceutical companies in the United States. The Pratt years were marked by expanded research and development facilities worldwide, the acquisition of Howmedica and other medical device companies, and the introduction of breakthrough products like Procardia® XL (nifedipine GITS extended-release tablets), Feldene® (piroxicam), Diflucan® (fluconazole), and Norvasc® (amlodipine besylate). Under his leadership, annual revenue increased sevenfold, from $1 billion to nearly $7 billion.
Pratt's earlier government service in Washington stood him in good stead as the Company grew and played a greater role in national and international matters. As advisor to United States Trade Representative Bill Brock in the mid-1980s, he played an instrumental role encouraging private sector involvement in trade matters. As chairman of the presidentially appointed Advisory Committee for Trade Negotiations, he also broadened the trade agenda to include items of global impact, including the issue of intellectual property.
Outgoing and convivial, Ed Pratt was an active participant in "Pfizer Family" celebrations and community activities. He served as chairman of the Business Council of New York State, The Business Round Table, and the President's Advisory Committee for Trade Negotiations. Virtually every area of New York City's commercial, cultural, and community life benefited from his heartfelt commitment to the city and its people. Shortly after Pratt stepped down as CEO in 1991, a new pharmaceuticals sales force was named in his honor. On March 1, 1992 Pratt retired as chairman and continued his involvement with the Company as a director of the board until 1997.
During his tenure as head of Pfizer, Ed Pratt was instrumental in the creation of low-income housing around Pfizer's Brooklyn plant, the donation of a Pfizer building for a public charter school, and the economic development and improvements in neighborhood safety. Always a generous man, Mr. Pratt held leadership positions in organizations such as the United Way, the Boys Clubs of America, and the Girl Scouts. He made significant contributions to Long Island University, in 1998, to fund academic, computer, and library facilities and, in 1999, to Duke University which created the Pratt School of Engineering. On September 5, 2002 Ed Pratt passed away at the age of 75. His commitment to Pfizer and the community at large will have a lasting effect.
"I'm a people person, and that's what I brought to Pfizer. I told my colleagues that if we were creative, had fun and worked hard, we could be among the best of the best." — Ed Pratt