Pfizer, Mylan vets tapped for Viatris board, C-suite as merger nears

With the board appointments of former leaders at Pfizer and Mylan, generics megamerger Viatris has already indicated its predecessors would play an outsized leadership role. Now, with nine more Pfizer and Mylan board members moving over––and a Pfizer CFO, to boot––the past is definitively the future at Viatris. 

Viatris has fleshed out its 13-member board of directors with the appointments of current Pfizer board member W. Don Cornwell as well as eight current Mylan directors: JoEllen Lyons Dillon, Neil Dimick, Melina Higgins, Harry A. Korman, Rajiv Malik, Richard A. Mark, Mark W. Parrish and Pauline van der Meer Mohr. 

Malik currently serves as Mylan's president and will keep that role at Viatris, Pfizer said. 

Those nine will join Ian Read, Pfizer's former CEO and executive chairman; Pfizer board member James Kilts; Mylan executive chairman Robert Coury, who will retain that position at Viatris; and Michael Goettler, who was named Viatris CEO.

Read, Cromwell and Kilts will step down from their roles at Pfizer to move over the new company, which is under regulatory review with a merger close date of mid-2020, Pfizer said. 

Also Thursday, Pfizer announced that Upjohn CFO Sanjeev Narula would move to Viatris in the same role, bringing 16 years of experience at Pfizer with him. Narula previously served as VP of finance for Pfizer’s Essential Health Business and has held financial and operational leadership roles at American Express and Xerox, Pfizer said. 

RELATED: Read may say goodbye to Pfizer, but he'll join the board at spinoff Viatris

After shedding its generics business, Pfizer is "set to emerge is a best-in-class growth story on [its] smaller, more innovative base," Stanicky wrote to clients. Essentially, a smaller company built on branded drugs can deliver a higher percentage growth than a bigger one diluted by low-upside generics.

Between 2021 and 2025, Pfizer could see 6% annual revenue growth based on the strength of its "core five" products, including Vyndaqel, Ibrance, Xeljanz, Eliquis and Prevnar, Stanicky figures. He pointed in particular to targeted therapy Vyndaqel, which could see strong uptake in ATTR-CM and become one of Pfizer's "most important drivers" this year. 

Those five products don't face a meaningful patent loss until after 2025, Stanicky noted, giving Pfizer plenty of room to identify a strategic acquisition or invest further into its pipeline to keep growth on the uptick in the following years. 

Editor's Note: This story has been updated to correct an error. Current Pfizer board member James Kilts will join Viatris' board.