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Read came to Pfizer in 1978. He was the chief financial officer of the company’s Mexican operations, country manager of Pfizer Brazil, and later ran its businesses in Europe, Canada, Latin America, and Africa and the Middle East before he was placed in charge of its worldwide pharmaceutical operations in 2006.

“One of the knocks on Jeff Kindler was that he really didn’t have a lot of pharma experience before coming to Pfizer,” said Funtledeyer. “That won’t be a criticism here.”

Funtledeyer said Kindler was responsible for some of Pfizer’s problems, but not all. He cited the failure of Pfizer’s cholesterol treatment torcetrapib, the sale of the company’s health care division before Kindler became CEO, the health care reform law and unease in the stock markets at issues beyond Kindler’s control.

“I think what people were complaining about was that things that were in his control did not turn out as well as he expected or the street expected,” Funtledeyer said.