Albert Bourla

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Albert Bourla
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Born1961/1962 (age 61–62)[1]
Alma materAristotle University of Thessaloniki
TitleChairman and Chief executive officer
Board member of
  • Biotechnology Innovation Organization
  • Catalyst (nonprofit organization)
  • Partnership for New York City
  • Pfizer
  • Pfizer Foundation
  • Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America

Albert Bourla is the chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of Pfizer. He joined the company in 1993 and has held several executive roles across Pfizer's divisions, including Zoetis (then known as Animal Health), the Vaccines, Oncology and Consumer Healthcare business, and Pfizer Innovative Health. Prior to his promotion to CEO, Bourla served as chief operating officer. In addition to the boards of Pfizer and the Pfizer Foundation, he has served on the boards of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization, Catalyst (nonprofit organization), the Partnership for New York City, and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. Bourla is also a member of The Business Council and the Business Roundtable.

Early life and education

Bourla was born in Greece.[2] He earned his doctorate in the biotechnology of reproduction at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki's Veterinary School.[3]


Bourla joined Pfizer in 1993, first serving as a doctor of veterinary medicine and technical director for the company's animal health division in Greece.[4][5] He held multiple executive roles at Zoetis (then known as Animal Health) and other divisions of Pfizer.[4] He served as area president for Animal Health's Europe, Africa and Middle East division during 2005–2009, followed by the Europe, Africa, and Asia Pacific division during 2009–2010.[6] In the latter role, he managed the merger of Wyeth's Fort Dodge Animal Health business with Pfizer in these regions.[3]

Bourla served as president and general manager of Pfizer's Established Products Business Unit during 2010–2013.[6][7] According to The Financial, in this role "he advanced the company's efforts to build a strong post-patent business by spear-heading efforts that maximized the lifecycle of key brands following loss of exclusivity".[3] He later served as group president of Pfizer's Vaccines, Oncology and Consumer Healthcare business,[8][9][10] where he led Pfizer's work on cancer and heart drugs, among others, and helped launch the drugs Eliquis and Ibrance, an anticoagulant and breast cancer treatment drug, respectively.[11][12][13]

Bourla held the role of global vaccines chief, before being promoted to group president of Pfizer Innovative Health,[4][14][15] effective January 1, 2016.[16][17] During his tenure, Innovative Health's revenue increased by eleven percent in 2016.[3] Bourla became Pfizer's chief operating officer (COO) on January 1, 2018, overseeing the company's drug development, manufacturing, sales, and strategy.[12] He restructured Pfizer and spun-off the consumer health care business during his tenure as COO.[4] He was promoted to the chief executive officer (CEO) role in October 2018, effective January 1, 2019, succeeding Ian Read.[1][4][18]

Bourla was one of seven chief executives of pharmaceutical companies who participated in a February 2019 United States Senate Committee on Finance hearing on prescription drug prices in the United States.[19][20] In April 2019, he was presented with the award for "Preeminent Greek Leader" of the global pharmaceutical industry by Geoffrey R. Pyatt, in his role as United States Ambassador to Greece, at the Prix Galien Greece Awards ceremony.[21][22][23] In January 2020, Bourla assumed the additional post of executive chairman, upon Pfizer's announcement in late 2019 that Read would retire from the position after eight years.[24]

In 2020, Bourla pushed for aggressive timelines in Pfizer's development of a possible vaccine against COVID-19.[25] He determined production of a potential vaccine would begin, at risk, while awaiting approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), although expected as soon as October 2020.[26] In late July 2020, the company was among top developers of a potential vaccine, in partnership with BioNTech, as they entered late-stage trials with mRNA, BNT162b2.[27]

Board service and memberships

Bourla has served on the Health Section Governing board of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization, the world's largest biotechnology trade association.[28] He joined Pfizer's board of directors in February 2018, and also serves on the board of the Pfizer Foundation.[2][6] Bourla is a board member of Catalyst (nonprofit organization),[29] a global nonprofit organization promoting the advancement of women, the Partnership for New York City,[30][31] and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), a trade association representing companies in the pharmaceutical industry in the United States.[32]

Bourla is a member of The Business Council, an organization of business leaders headquartered in Washington, D.C., and the Business Roundtable,[33] a group of chief executives of major U.S. corporations established to promote pro-business public policy.[34][35]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Mathias, Tamara; Banerjee, Ankur (October 1, 2018). "Pfizer to replace longtime CEO Read with veteran Bourla". Reuters. Retrieved July 15, 2020.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Rockoff, Jonathan D. (October 1, 2018). "Pfizer CEO Read to Step Aside at Year's End". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved July 15, 2020.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 "Pfizer Names Albert Bourla Chief Operating Officer". The Financial. Retrieved July 15, 2020.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Ramsey, Lydia (October 1, 2018). "Pfizer's CEO is stepping down after 8 years — meet the man who will be replacing him". Business Insider. Retrieved July 11, 2020.
  5. Jarvis, Lisa M. (October 3, 2018). "Pfizer unveils CEO succession plan". Chemical & Engineering News. 96 (40). Retrieved July 15, 2020.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 "Form 8-K". U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. September 27, 2018. Retrieved July 15, 2020.
  7. "Pfizer, Mylan to Team Up on Generics Business in Japan". Asian Scientist. August 27, 2012. Retrieved July 14, 2020.
  8. "Pfizer's CEO Ian Read to leave in January". CBS News. October 1, 2018. Retrieved July 12, 2020.
  9. "Drugmaker Pfizer's CEO Read to be replaced by COO Bourla". Crain's New York Business. Crain Communications. Associated Press. October 1, 2018. Retrieved July 12, 2020.
  10. Sellers, Patricia (December 17, 2013). "Behind Pfizer's latest upheaval at the top". Fortune (magazine). Retrieved July 12, 2020.
  11. Rockoff, Jonathan D. (December 9, 2015). "How Pfizer Set the Cost of Its New Drug at $9,850 a Month". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved July 15, 2020.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Rockoff, Jonathan D. (November 13, 2017). "Pfizer Sets Up Succession Plan With Creation of Operating Chief Role". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved July 11, 2020.
  13. Hopkins, Jared S. (October 1, 2018). "Pfizer's incoming CEO represents pipeline push over dealmaking". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved July 15, 2020.
  14. Picker, Leslie (May 16, 2016). "Pfizer to Acquire Anacor Pharmaceuticals for $5.2 Billion". The New York Times. Retrieved July 14, 2020. ... said Albert Bourla, group president of Pfizer's global innovative pharma and global vaccines, oncology and consumer health care businesses.
  15. Johnson, Carolyn Y. (August 22, 2016). "Pfizer to acquire Medivation for $14 billion". The Washington Post. Retrieved July 14, 2020. Albert Bourla, group president of Pfizer Innovative Health, outlined on the call how Xtandi would fit into Pfizer's oncology portfolio...
  16. Lee, Howard (December 18, 2013). "Pfizer executive vice president leaving company by 'mutual agreement'". The Day (New London). Retrieved July 14, 2020.
  17. "Pfizer creates chief operating officer role for Bourla". Reuters. November 13, 2017. Retrieved July 12, 2020.
  18. Maidenberg, Micah (October 9, 2018). "Pfizer Prepares for CEO Transition With Executive Suite Changes". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved July 11, 2020.
  19. "Drug company CEOs admit prescription prices are too high. But will they change?". PBS. February 7, 2019. Retrieved July 15, 2020.
  20. Rowland, Christopher (February 26, 2019). "Drug executives grilled in Senate over high prices". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved July 15, 2020.
  21. "Prix Galien Greece 2019: Κορυφαίοι Έλληνες στην απονομή των "Νόμπελ" της φαρμακευτικής αγοράς" (in Greek). CNN Greece. April 12, 2019. Retrieved July 15, 2020.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)
  22. "Έρχονται τα Prix Galien Greece 2019". Kathimerini (in Greek). April 1, 2019. Retrieved July 15, 2020.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)
  23. "Ambassador Pyatt's Remarks at Prix Galien Greece Awards Ceremony". U.S. Embassy in Greece. April 12, 2019. Retrieved July 15, 2020.
  24. Sebastian, Dave; Kellaher, Colin (September 27, 2019). "Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla to Succeed Ian Read as Chairman". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved July 27, 2020.
  25. Vardi, Nathan (May 20, 2020). "The Race Is On: Why Pfizer May Be the Best Bet to Deliver a Vaccine by the Fall". Forbes. Retrieved July 27, 2020.
  26. Shapiro, Eben (July 12, 2020). "Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla Raises Expectations That the Pharmaceutical Giant Can Deliver a COVID-19 Vaccine by Fall". Time. Retrieved July 27, 2020.
  27. Liu, Angus (July 28, 2020). "Vyndaqel, Ibrance boost Pfizer as it eyes COVID-19 vaccine launch this year". FIERCE Pharma. Retrieved August 10, 2020.
  28. "BIO Elects New Board Officers and Members". Biotechnology Innovation Organization. June 6, 2016. Retrieved July 15, 2020.
  29. "CEOs of Altria, Bank of America, Dentons, Northrop Grumman, Pfizer and Uber Take Seats on Leading Nonprofit Board". Catalyst (nonprofit organization). April 4, 2019. Retrieved July 15, 2020. {{cite web}}: Text "Catalyst" ignored (help)
  30. Goldman, Henry (March 7, 2019). "NYC Business Leaders Call for Renewed Mayoral School Control". Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved July 15, 2020.
  31. "Board of Directors". Partnership for New York City. Retrieved July 15, 2019.
  32. "Our Leadership". Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. Retrieved July 15, 2020.
  33. "Albert Bourla". Business Roundtable. Retrieved July 15, 2020.
  34. "Member List". The Business Council. Retrieved July 15, 2020.
  35. "Spotlight: Albert Bourla, DVM, PH.D." New York Women in Communications. Retrieved July 15, 2020.

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