Company news from the 05/22/07 news brief

Pfizer CEO Jeffrey Kindler has announced top-level leadership changes for the drugmaker’s research and finance functions. Pfizer said its longtime head of R&D John LaMattina will retire shortly after the company finds a replacement for him. LaMattina has been at Pfizer since 1977. Martin Mackay, currently VP R&D and head of worldwide development is said to be a contender to replace LaMattina. But Kindler, a former McDonald’s executive who got the Pfizer CEO job in part because he was a pharma outsider, may also look outside Pfizer to fill the post. Additionally, Alan Levin, the company’s CFO, will also step down as Pfizer looks to bring in a finance chief with more visibility and experience on Wall Street. Kindler’s background may also predispose him to look outside the pharmaceutical industry for Levin’s successor. Levin was the lieutenant to previous CFO David Shedlarz and took over as chief of finance in 2005. “With a strong finance organization in place, and after 20 years of service with Pfizer, I feel that now is the appropriate time for me to explore career opportunities outside of the company,” Levin said in a statement.