Pfizer hires on the axe man

It's a tough job, but...well, you know the rest. Pfizer is bringing in financial fix-it guy Frank D'Amelio as its new CFO, and he'll have plenty of fixing to do.

D'Amelio won kudos for helping turn around telecom equipment-maker Lucent, at least in part by wielding a hatchet. Pfizer has already cut 10,000 jobs, but it's facing a series of patent expirations that could turn the company into a falling-domino exhibition. CEO Jeffrey Kindler says D'Amelio's up to the challenge, though, because he's helped run companies through "the kind of rapid and complex changes we have undertaken at Pfizer."

It's true that D'Amelio saw Lucent through a dip into penny-stock land and helped engineer the company's sale to Alcatel. In the process he cut jobs by 75 percent. Pfizer workers may be quaking in their boots, but shareholders could be comforted by D'Amelio's rep as a pragmatic guy who can be objective when offering solutions to the company's problems. Is he sharpening his hatchet now? Only time will tell.

- see Pfizer's release
- read the report from Forbes

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