Dr. Albert Bourla
Chairman and CEO, Pfizer
As Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Albert Bourla leads Pfizer in its purpose, Breakthroughs that change patients’ lives, with a focus on driving the scientific and commercial innovation needed to have a transformational impact on human health.
During his more than 30 years at Pfizer, Albert has built a diverse and successful career, holding several senior positions across a range of markets and disciplines. The global nature of his work – having lived and worked in nine different cities and led teams across five continents – has informed his understanding of the needs of patients and healthcare systems around the world and deepened his commitment to helping ensure equitable access to medicines and vaccines.
When he took the reins as CEO in January 2019, Albert accelerated Pfizer’s transformation to become a more science-driven, innovative company – divesting its non-science-based businesses and dramatically increasing its R&D and digital innovation budgets. To create a culture in which the company’s people and science could thrive, Albert and his leadership team established Pfizer’s Purpose Blueprint, which included four core values: courage, excellence, equity and joy.
A powerful example of Pfizer’s capabilities and culture was seen in the company’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Refusing to accept public funding and instead investing more than $2 billion dollars at-risk, Albert inspired colleagues to deliver a safe and effective vaccine in just eight months – a process that typically take 8-10 years – without compromising quality or integrity. A year later, continuing to move at the speed of science, Pfizer delivered the first FDA-authorized oral antiviral treatment for COVID-19 by implementing the same sense of urgency and new ways of working that had made the vaccine program so successful. The company is now applying many of these “lightspeed” principles to projects across a wide range of therapeutic areas, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, inflammatory conditions and more. Albert wrote about the company’s experience developing a COVID-19 vaccine in his book, “Moonshot: Inside Pfizer’s Nine-Month Race to Make the Impossible Possible,” which was a Bronze Medalist in the 2023 Axiom Awards and a Finalist for the National Jewish Book Awards. The book also appeared on the Wall Street Journal Bestseller list for four weeks and was selected by the Next Big Idea Book Club.
Under Albert’s leadership, Pfizer also has further strengthened its commitment to Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) principles. This includes issuing the biopharmaceutical industry’s first Sustainability Bond addressing capital investments in both environmental and social initiatives; launching the company’s first ESG report; and completing an extensive priority issue assessment to confirm where and how Pfizer can have the greatest long-term impact.
Albert is a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and holds a Ph.D. in the Biotechnology of Reproduction from the Veterinary School of Aristotle University. He has received honorary doctorates from the American College of Greece, the University of Patras, Touro University, The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, and Aristotle University, as well as an honorary degree from Babson College.
In 2022, Albert received the Golden Cross Order of the Redeemer, conferred by the President of Greece; the Order of Boyacá, conferred by the President of Colombia; and the Order of the Independence from the First Degree, conferred by His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan. In the same year, he was named the 2022 Genesis Prize Laureate in recognition of his leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic and received the Courage Against Hate Award from the Anti-Defamation League. He also received the 2022 Eisenhower Global Citizenship Award from the Business Council for International Understanding, the Distinguished Leadership Award and the Peter G. Peterson Business Statesmanship Award from the Committee for Economic Development, the Gold Medal from Americas Society, the Bower Award in Business Leadership from The Franklin Institute, the Double Helix Award from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, the Humanitarian Award from the Simon Wiesenthal Center, and the Manufacturer of the Year from the National Association of Manufacturers’ Leadership Council.
In 2021, he was named CEO of the Year by CNN Business, included in Insider Magazine’s Most Transformative CEOs list and inducted into the Crain’s New York Business 2021 Hall of Fame. That same year, he received the Appeal of Conscience Award in recognition of his extraordinary leadership in service of the global community and The Atlantic Council’s Distinguished Business Leadership Award for his and Pfizer’s work on the COVID-19 vaccine. He also was recognized with the Roy Vagelos Award from the Prix Galien Foundation, the Academy of Achievement Award in Science from AHEPA, the Golden Medal of Institution from Hellenic Open University, the David Rockefeller Award from the Museum of Modern Art, the Theodor Herzl Award from the World Jewish Congress, the Sparkle of Hope Award from Community Hope, and the Father of the Year Award from the National Father’s Day Council. In 2020, he received the Meridian Global Leadership Award.
Albert is chairman of The Pfizer Foundation and Co-Chair of the Board of Directors for the Partnership for New York City. He is President of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations, a director on multiple boards—Pfizer Inc., PhRMA and Catalyst—and a trustee of the United States Council for International Business. In addition, Albert is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Business Roundtable, the Business Council and the New York City Mayor’s Corporate Council.
Albert can be found on Twitter at @AlbertBourla and on LinkedIn.