In my 33 years with Pfizer, I have seen firsthand the highly competitive environment we face everywhere we operate. I know that all the major companies in our industry have outstanding talent. It's how we, as leaders, engage that talent that makes the difference.
One of my top priorities is to encourage and maintain a culture where colleagues share their diverse ideas, take initiative, act with an entrepreneurial spirit, give their best each day and believe Pfizer is a great place to work. My message to our colleagues is that they have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of millions of people while shaping the future of a world-class organization. This great opportunity comes with equally great responsibilities: work with integrity, be accountable for results and deliver for all of our stakeholders.
Late in 2010 Jeff Kindler, Pfizer's Chairman and CEO, retired from the company. He helped build much of our current foundation for growth, including our business unit structure and our landmark acquisition of Wyeth. I want to thank Jeff for his passionate leadership during his nine years with Pfizer.
Following Jeff's retirement, the Board determined that the designation of an independent, non-executive Chairman is optimal for the company at the present time and elected independent Director George A. Lorch as Non-Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors. George and I have a close working relationship. I know he will continue to be a strong advocate for Pfizer's shareholders.
Two of our Directors will retire in April 2011. Robert N. Burt, a Director who joined us from the Board of Warner-Lambert, served on nearly all of the Board's key committees, and led the Audit Committee during the critical years when Sarbanes-Oxley regulations went into effect. All of us are grateful for Bob's leadership, insight and dedication to Pfizer.
William C. Steere, Jr., Pfizer's Chairman Emeritus since 2001, has been part of Pfizer for 52 years, joining us as a sales representative in 1959 and climbing the ranks to become Chairman and CEO, serving from 1991 to 2001. He led an era that saw Pfizer move from the 14th largest pharmaceutical company in the world to an unquestioned No. 1, largely on the strength of science and innovation.
Nat Ricciardi, President of Pfizer Global Manufacturing, announced that he will retire effective April 1, 2011. Nat began his 39-year career on the night shift of the Brooklyn plant and rose to lead the world's largest biopharmaceutical production network. I am grateful for Nat's leadership of our respected production and supply team, and especially for his commitment to developing people throughout Pfizer.
Commitments Made, Commitments Kept—But More to Do
I invite you to explore our first integrated Annual Review and Corporate Responsibility Report, which is posted to www.pfizer.com and provides more detail on our activities in 2010.
Pfizer had a good year, but we know we have much, much more to do. We will continue to make progress in creating a Pfizer that is both successful and sustainable. We did much in 2010 to manage our costs, reduce our dependence on a few large products, speed up our innovation and bring our products to new markets. We announced additional steps in February 2011 to help put the company on a firm course toward our third century.
I am confident that we are investing in the right areas, taking the right actions and building the right kind of culture. I firmly believe Pfizer has an enduring role to play in meeting humanity's most important priority—better health—and I look forward with great enthusiasm to our future.
Ian C. Read
President and CEO
February 24, 2011