The Pfizer Inc. board of directors has elected Ian C. Read, 57, as president and chief executive officer.

Currently the head of global biopharmaceutical operations, Read succeeds Jeffrey B. Kindler, who has retired from the company. 

Read joined Pfizer in 1978 and assumed positions of increasing responsibility in Latin America.  In 1996, he was appointed president of Pfizer's International Pharmaceuticals Group, with responsibility for Latin America and Canada. He was named Corporate Vice President in 2001 and assumed responsibility for Europe in addition to Canada, later adding the Africa/Middle East and Latin American regions to his leadership responsibility.

The Pfizer board will elect a non-executive Chairman from its current membership at its next regularly scheduled meeting.