Jeffrey Kindler says he wants
to have the "spirit of a small company" while taking advantage of the size and financial strength of being the world's biggest drugmaker.
In his first speech to investors and analysts since becoming chief executive in late July, Kindler on Wednesday reiterated the outline of a
corporate restructuring that he announced in mid-August.
Pfizer must work harder than it has in the past to understand what its customers -- patients, physicians and payors -- want, Kindler said while addressing the annual Bank of America investment conference in San Francisco. Pfizer also has to act faster to make changes, he added.
Kindler's prepared remarks and his answers to a few questions were general. Investors seeking specific financial information will have to wait until next month for Pfizer's third-quarter earnings announcement. Those interested in its research and development strategy will have to hold off until a presentation to analysts in November.
As he noted last month, Kindler said he is reorganizing Pfizer to create a culture "that embraces change" and is eliminating "layers of bureaucracy" so managers can make decisions faster. He said Pfizer needs to be more collaborative in its dealings with doctors, patients, insurers and regulators to achieve its goals.
Kindler had accepted the invitation to speak at the conference about two months ago while he was still a vice chairman at Pfizer. He
replaced Henry McKinnell in the top corporate post, and he was also named to the board. McKinnell will remain chairman until February.
The planned reorganization enables David Shedlarz, a vice chairman, to take on added duties. Kindler has called Shedlarz "my principal deputy." Shedlarz, Kindler and Karen Katen were the three vice chairmen vying to succeed McKinnell. Katen started at Pfizer in 1974 and Shedlarz has been with the company since 1976. Kindler joined in 2002.
Katen has announced her resignation, but she will remain for a few months as chairman of the Pfizer Foundation, the company's philanthropic organization.