Pfizer’s Bourla Touts New CFO’s “True Insights” into Healthcare System

Pfizer_JHVEPhoto/GettyImages

JHVEPhoto/GettyImages

Pfizer has found its replacement for longtime Chief Financial Officer Frank D’Amelio, who announced his retirement from the company five months ago. The company went outside the pharmaceutical industry and tapped David M. Denton, who served as CFO of Lowe’s Companies, Inc.

Denton takes over the top financial spot at the pharma giant on May 2. D’Amelio, who spent the past 15 years overseeing the company’s assets, will remain with the company through a transition period while Denton gets a feel for the company.

Although he is coming from the home improvement industry, prior to his time with Lowe’s, Denton has significant experience with the healthcare industry. He spent 22 years as the CFO of CVS Health, which will bring a unique perspective on the role payers, the needs of patients, and the rapidly evolving healthcare landscape, Pfizer said. At CVS, Denton oversaw the company’s $69 billion acquisition of Aetna, which had been part of a plan to keep healthcare costs lower by having CVS’ in-house clinics assist people with basic healthcare needs while allowing Aetna to more effectively cover treatment for non-emergency health-care needs all at a lower cost. For his role in that acquisition, Denton negotiated the terms of the structure and financing for the deal.

Bourla is counting on Denton’s history with the formation of CVS Caremark, which has played a key role in the pricing of prescription drugs.

As CFO of Pfizer, Denton will oversee all of the corporate financial functions, which include audit, treasury, tax, insurance, operations planning and analysis (OP&A), corporate controllership, and business finance and analytics.

Pfizer Chief Executive Officer Albert Bourla touted the deep financial experience of Denton’s career. He said Denton has a track record of achievement throughout his extensive work history and noted that the incoming CFO will provide the company with “true insights” into the healthcare system.

“For these reasons, he is the perfect leader to take the helm of our talented finance organization and deliver a comprehensive strategic financial vision that will help drive Pfizer’s future growth and success,” Bourla said in a statement.

Denton said joining Pfizer at a time when the company is on the cutting-edge of scientific advancement is a professional opportunity that he could not pass up. He said Pfizer is “unparalleled in its ambition” to positively impact the lives of patients across the globe.

"For me, there could be no professional opportunity greater than leveraging all my years of finance and business experience to play a role in helping deliver on this aspiration, working alongside a high-performing team that has been built for growth and enhancing shareholder returns,”  Denton said in a statement.

In addition to his five years in the home improvement industry and his more than two decades at CVS, Denton spent the first several years of his career at the management consulting firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu.

Bourla thanked D’Amelio for his years of service to Pfizer. D’Amelio made multiple contributions to the company, including serving as a mentor to employees and overseeing multiple acquisitions, such as the purchase of Wyeth, which significantly bolstered the company’s position within the pharma industry and provided Pfizer with talent and a leading vaccine platform.

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