Pfizer ($PFE) is shaking up its corporate structure again as it prepares to merge with Allergan ($AGN) and further lays the groundwork for a potential split in a few years. The structural rejig pushes out Geno Germano, who has been leading Pfizer's global innovative pharma business, and elevates one top Allergan manager, Bill Meury, to the combined company's commercial leadership team.
As expected, Allergan CEO Brent Saunders will head up commercial operations as president and COO after the $160 billion deal closes. An internal rejig will happen at the same time: Pfizer's vaccines and oncology drugs will combine with its global innovative products business, creating one big unit, and some Allergan businesses will hook up with consumer healthcare.
Albert Bourla will run the combined drugs and vaccines unit, leaving Germano, current head of global innovative pharma, out of a job. The established products business will remain, with current exec John Young at the helm and all of Hospira's commercial operations in his charge.
Meury, a former Allergan EVP, will head up specialty and consumer brands, which essentially combines Allergan's eye products and aesthetics business--including blockbuster Botox--with Pfizer's consumer healthcare unit. All three of these group presidents will report to Saunders.
The team at the top of Pfizer remains essentially the same, with Ian Read as CEO and chairman, Frank D'Amelio as EVP and CFO, and Mikael Dolsten as worldwide R&D chief.
The new structure could be another step along the path to an eventual divorce. CEO Ian Read, who'll remain at the top of the Pfizer org chart, raised the prospect of a big split in 2013, and divided internal operations into three units in January of the following year. The split idea has gelled around two separate businesses: the higher-margin innovative side and the established-products business, which includes some branded meds close to the end of their patent lives.
Perhaps to warn analysts against interpreting the new structure as a sign of a quicker split, however, Pfizer reiterated its promise to decide about a potential split by the end of 2018. During last week's fourth-quarter earnings call, Read again outlined the questions Pfizer will need answered before determining whether to break up, and emphasized that, for now, the focus is on integrating Allergan.
- read the Pfizer release
- see the earnings call transcript
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