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Pfizer Refocuses Marketing Division with New Restructuring Strategy


Pharmaceutical Executive

Pharmaceutical ExecutivePharmaceutical Executive-10-08-2008
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The pharma giant just announced major plans to break up its R&D divisions into smaller units targeting areas of growth. Marketing will be part of the restructuring plan, and there is good news: No new layoffs.

Pfizer, on Monday, informed its employees of a new restructuring program that will see the company’s massive development operation divided into three smaller units focused on primary care, specialty care, and emerging markets. This move has been in the works for some time, and follows on similar reorganization plans in Pfizer’s bio and cancer units.

In January 2007, Pfizer CEO Jeffrey Kindler wrote a letter to colleagues explaining the need for smaller, more focused units within the company to better focus on the customer. Within two years, Pfizer has implemented a bioinnovation/biotherapeutic center, an oncology business unit, and an established product unit.

“Today’s announcement, in essence, is a continuation of what we said we were going to do,” said Ray Kerins, vice president of worldwide communications at Pfizer. “For the first time, development-commercial and clinical-is now part of the overall business unit.”

In addition to medical and development, each unit will have its own marketing and sales divisions, in to help teams focus on one area. Pfizer’s research team will remain independent.

“This move is being done in part because the company has so many different customers in different markets with different needs,” Kerins said. “If we get away from the regional focus and we go more towards a global business unit structure with the sole focus on the customers, we believe we can [create] a better view for that customer.”

Kerins said that it’s too soon to talk about what changes will be made in sales and marketing, or if additional salespeople will be hired at outsourced firms for targeted needs. The good news is that as of now, no additional layoffs will be made.

“To a certain extent, this is a total realignment of the area,” Kerins said. “It affects everything up and down the food chain. Drugs currently being marketed will be moved to the appropriate unit, as will drugs under development. This is ‘putting our money where our mouth is.’ We did it, and now we’ll see what happens.”

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