Pfizer taps CFO with turnaround experience

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Frank D'Amelio, who held top financial and operations posts in the telecom industry, is Pfizer's pick for CFO.

He replaces former CFO Alan Levin, who resigned in May.

The new hire's credentials speak volumes about Pfizer's priorities. CEO Jeffrey Kindler, just past the year mark as chief executive, is in the midst of orchestrating a turnaround for the company. Near the top of his list is finding a way to replace the $12 billion in annual revenue for Lipitor, Pfizer's top-seller which is set to lose US patent protection in 2011. Thus far the company has sought to do that through cost-cutting and seeking to beef up the pipeline.

D'Amelio will help address the challenges. In a statement today, the company hailed his 30 years of experience at AT&T, Lucent Technologies and Alcatel-Lucent, including serving as both COO and CFO at Lucent. During his tenure there, he helped steward Lucent's sale to French firm Alcatel.

“Frank was a senior executive in global companies undergoing the kind of rapid and complex changes we have undertaken at Pfizer in response to our own rapidly changing markets,” Kindler said in a statement.

Kindler also cited D'Amelio's experience working with the investment community. Kindler reached out to analysts early on in his tenure, in a marked departure from the more stoic approach of his predecessor, former Pfizer CEO Hank McKinnel.

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