May 17, 2020

Pfizer’s announces new CEO

Hospital Leadership
Hospital Leadership
Catherine Sturman
4 min
International pharmaceutical giant, Pfizer, has announced it is set to appoint a new Chief Executive Officer.

Its Board of Directors has unanimously el...

International pharmaceutical giant, Pfizer, has announced it is set to appoint a new Chief Executive Officer.

Its Board of Directors has unanimously elected Chief Operating Officer, Dr Albert Bourla to succeed current CEO, Ian Read in 2019. Read will transition from his current role as Chairman and CEO to Executive Chairman of Pfizer’s Board of Directors, after serving as Pfizer’s CEO since 2010.

“It’s been an honour to serve as Pfizer’s CEO for the past eight years,” stated Read. “However, now is the right time for a leadership change and Albert is the right person to guide Pfizer through the coming era.

“Albert is an energising leader who has an unwavering commitment to serving patients. With 25 years at Pfizer, he has developed an extensive knowledge of the industry and demonstrated an ability to build and grow businesses.

“With Albert at the helm, our dedicated colleagues across the globe are poised to deliver the next stage of growth.”

Throughout his tenure, Read has transformed the business to gain a shareholder return of 250%, outperforming the S&P 500 index by 180 percentage points, and has been behind 30 FDA approvals, with the potential for approximately 25-30 approvals through 2022.

Additionally, Read has been instrumental in over $120bn direct return of capital to shareholders, been behind a 70% increase in annual dividends to $1.36 from $0.80 and has led the company to donate over 580mn doses of Zithromax (azithromycin) to treat trachoma, the leading cause of infectious blindness. Consequently, the number of people at risk of trachoma blindness worldwide has been reduced to 158mn from more than 300mn in 2010.

 “On behalf of the Board of the Directors, I want to thank Ian for his remarkable leadership as CEO,” commented Shantanu Narayen, Lead Independent Director of Pfizer’s Board of Directors.

“During an extraordinary period for the company, he successfully managed through $23bn of lost revenue due to product losses of exclusivity, while at the same time driving strong and consistent financial performance and investing for the future. Consequently, Pfizer now has a pipeline that we believe is as deep and strong as ever. In addition, Ian has built a unique ownership culture that increased accountability and encouraged collaboration. As such, the company is now better positioned for success.”

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“Today’s leadership announcement is part of a thoughtful, multi-year succession planning process. The Board has been impressed with Albert’s performance, depth of experience and track record for success, and we are confident that as CEO he will drive innovation and further advancements across the business.”

Known as a key innovator across the healthcare industry, Bourla led Pfizer to amass a cool US$54bn in 2017, where the company supports over 90,000 employees worldwide.

Prior to his role as COO, he led Pfizer’s Innovative Health business, which recorded revenues of $31.4bn and income before taxes of $18.3bn in 2017, representing an 8% and 17% year-over-year operational growth respectively and an increase of profitability to 58% compared to 54% the previous year.

Bourla’s worldwide experience has seen the business increase patient access, develop scalable solutions and drive further success. A Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, he has also gained a PhD in Biotechnology of Reproduction from the Veterinary School of Aristotle University in Greece.

Prior to his appointment as leader of Pfizer Innovative Health, in January 2014 he became the group president of the Vaccines, Oncology and Consumer Healthcare business unit. Under his leadership within four years, the Oncology business tripled in size, the Vaccines business grew by 50% and the Consumer Healthcare business significantly improved its profitability.

In addition, Dr. Bourla spearheaded several key transactions to advance Pfizer’s Oncology, Inflammation and Immunology, Vaccines and Rare Disease portfolios, and prioritised investments to create a leading Oncology business with strong positions in breast and prostate cancer franchises.

“I am humbled and privileged to be the next CEO of Pfizer, and I appreciate the confidence that both Ian and the Board of Directors have placed in me,” commented Bourla.

“I also want to thank Ian for his constant support and am fortunate to have him as both a mentor and friend. I welcome his continuing contributions as Executive Chairman. This is a dynamic time for Pfizer, and I look forward to working with our colleagues to deliver critical medicines to patients all over the globe, which remains the compass for all we do at Pfizer.”

"We have a pipeline that is the best we've ever had. It's my responsibility to make sure we maximize the opportunity the company has,” he added in a recent interview.

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Jun 14, 2021

Zoom enters the healthcare market - a timeline

3 min
We chart Zoom's rise and entrance into the healthcare market

Since the pandemic began Zoom has become an integral part of daily life for people working from home, as well as a vital tool for families and friends to communicate. However it's also been eyeing up the healthcare space since 2017, and following the boom in telehealth the company has been rolling out additional services. Here we chart Zoom's move into healthcare. 

2011 - 2013

Zoom is founded in San Jose, California, by Eric Yuan, formerly of Cisco. He got the idea to create a video calling platform from his visits to his girlfriend while he was a student, which would take 10 hours by train. 

A beta version is released in 2012, which can host up to 15 participants. In 2013 this rises to 25. By mid-2013, Zoom has 1 million users. 

2014 - 2017

Zoom attracts investors, including Sequoia Capital, Emergence and Horizon Ventures. By January 2017, Zoom has a series D funding worth $100 million.

2017 - 2019

Zoom for Telehealth launches, including an integration with EHR system Epic. It has cloud-based video, audio, and content sharing features, a "waiting room" for patients, and can easily be integrated into healthcare provider's workflows. 

In 2019 Zoom goes public, with its IPO rising 72% in one day. 


As a result of the pandemic, Zoom gains 2.2 million new users, more than in the whole of 2019. On the 23rd of March alone - the day the UK lockdown was announced - the platform was downloaded 2.13 million times around the world. 

Share prices rise to around $150, and founder and chief executive Eric Yuan becomes one of the world's richest people, with an estimated net worth of $7.9 billion. 

Early security issues are addressed by encrypting data with the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES). By now the the platform allows 99 people to be on a call simultaneously
New features launch, including Zoom Home and Zoom for Chats. Throughout the year the platform is used to replace most kinds of real life events: work meetings, online classrooms, church services and social events. 


Renamed Zoom for Healthcare, users can share secured video, audio, and content through desktops, mobile phones, and conference devices. As well as Epic, it can be integrated with Strmr, IntakeQ, and Practice Better.

It can also be used with diagnostic cameras and other point-of-care devices, including digital stethoscopes.

In an interview with Korea Biomedical Review, Zoom Global Healthcare Lead Ron Emerson said: "Our service is not simply a virtual care and telemedicine platform but a multi-purpose platform that can satisfy the needs of healthcare institutions."

"It can be used for administrative tasks, including telemedicine, medical team meetings, recruitment, medical education, employee training, and disease prevention. Analysing electronic records managed by Zoom could provide meaningful insights into patient care." 

Phoenix Children's Hospital, Belfast's Hospital Services Limited, Butler Health Services and the global Project ECHO are among Zoom for Healthcare's current customers. 

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