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

Ian Read
Pfizer chairman Ian Read will be joined by former Gillette CEO James Kilts on the Viatris board. (Pfizer)

With Pfizer's Upjohn and Mylan's marriage up for regulatory review, both drugmakers are working out the details on who'll be tasked with leading the new generics giant. Turns out one of the executives most responsible for securing the deal will now stay on to steer his newest creation. 

Ian Read, Pfizer's executive chairman and former CEO, has been tapped as a board member for Viatris, the still-in-the-works Upjohn and Mylan merger. Also joining as a director is James Kilts, a former CEO of Gillette and VP at Proctor and Gamble.

Read and Kilts will work alongside Mylan chairman Robert Coury, who'll retain that role at the new generics giant, and Upjohn chief Michael Goettler, who'll stay on as Viatris CEO and board member. A third Pfizer-designated board member has yet to be announced, the company said. 

Read, a 41-year Pfizer veteran, is expected to step away from the company Dec. 31 as part of a transition of power to CEO Albert Bourla, who took the reins from Read in January 2019. Kilts, a current Pfizer board member, will step down from that seat to take the Viatris role, Pfizer said. 

"I'm delighted that Ian and Jim will serve on the Viatris board," Coury said in a statement. "I've known Ian for some time, and his overall experience and knowledge of the Upjohn portfolio will serve Viatris well given the purpose and direction of the new company."

RELATED: Pfizer's Upjohn and Mylan will become Viatris. Wait, haven't we heard that name before?

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