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Name and title: Jeffrey B. Kindler, vice chairman, general counsel and chief compliance officer. Age: 49 The company: New York-based Pfizer Inc. is the world’s largest research-based pharmaceutical firm, with 115,000 employees worldwide and revenues for the past fiscal year of just above $52.5 billion. The publicly traded company, established 155 years ago, features four major business lines: human health (human pharmaceuticals); consumer health (over-the-counter products); animal health; and Capsugel (a maker of gelatin capsules for pharmaceuticals and dietary supplements). Among its biggest-sellers are the drugs Viagra, Zoloft and Lipitor. Legal team: Pfizer’s legal division has approximately 900 members, of whom about 400 are lawyers. With the exception of litigation, the “vast majority” of work is handled in-house. In litigation, for which a variety of firms are hired on a case-by-case basis, Kindler defers to Allen Waxman, Pfizer’s head of litigation, and to the attorneys handling the suits. “I hold our lawyers accountable for managing these matters and I can’t hold them accountable if I dictate to them who they have to hire.” He reports to Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Henry A. McKinnell Jr. Responsibilities: Besides his legal duties, Pfizer’s GC is responsible for government relations, communications, philanthropy, information resources, public policy and security. He is also a member of the firm’s four-person executive committee, its governing management team. Kindler ensures that the appropriate people are handling major legal and compliance issues, helps shape strategy and provides legal advice to senior management and the board of directors. He has become a generalist, although throughout his career he has been involved in “litigation of every imaginable type.” Pfizer’s extensive acquisition, joint venture and licensing efforts are overseen by David Reid of its mergers and acquisitions group, but Kindler himself was deeply involved in the acquisition of Pharmacia Corp., a producer of bulk pharmaceuticals. Pfizer is currently seeking regulatory approval to combine with Coley Pharmaceutical Group to develop, manufacture and market ProMune, a cancer-fighting injectable. Bextra/Celebrex woes: On April 7, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration forced Pfizer to suspend sales of Bextra, a “Cox-2 inhibitor” painkiller that generated $1.3 billion in revenue last year. The ban was prompted by concerns that its use increased the risk of heart attacks and strokes, and could cause a potentially dangerous skin rash. Pfizer agreed to halt sales pending further discussion with the FDA, and it will adhere to a Bextra ban sought by E.U. regulators. The FDA also ruled that Celebrex, another Pfizer painkiller, must carry a “black box label” warning, its most serious. It must cite possible cardiovascular risks and more prominently warn consumers of potential gastrointestinal problems. Pfizer last year had to pull direct-to-consumer TV ads for Celebrex because of heart-related concerns. Pfizer is bracing for lawsuits, the first of which was a federal class action filed in the Northern District of Illinois on behalf of Bextra users. It alleges that Pfizer failed to research known risks properly, did not warn customers and balked at withdrawing the medication even after it became aware of its alleged side effects. The FDA is considered by some to be more proactive and more risk-averse than in the past, due to pressure from lawmakers and consumers. Kindler, who would not comment on its recent actions, did describe the FDA as “a very experienced regulator with a high commitment to science and [an] appreciation of the benefits and risks of pharmaceuticals.” He noted that his field is “highly regulated,” and that Pfizer also adheres to the rules of the Securities and Exchange Commission, the New York Stock Exchange, foreign regulators and state rule-makers. Pfizer v. Generics: Like other pharmaceutical firms, Pfizer is the target of “quite a number” of suits by generic drug manufacturers attempting to market copies of its products. Kindler said it is becoming increasingly common for generics companies to challenge Pfizer by introducing copycat drugs before their patents have expired, by claiming that the patents are either invalid or are not infringed by their own products. Kindler added, “I like to say that we discover drugs by hiring scientists who work in the lab to find new compounds to cure disease. They discover drugs by hiring lawyers to figure out how to defeat our patents.” Pro bono: Pfizer provides legal support for families of 9/11 victims, among other pro bono efforts. The Legal Aid Society has recognized Pfizer for “creating the prototype for corporate pro bono,” for which Kindler accepted the Pro Bono Publico and Public Service Corporate awards. He also received the first GC Leadership Award honoring his work aiding low-income New Yorkers. Route to the top: Kindler, a native of Key West, Fla., graduated from Tufts University in 1977 and received a 1980 J.D. degree, magna cum laude, from Harvard Law School, where he edited the law review. Launching his career in the general counsel’s office of the Federal Communications Commission, he proceeded to clerk for Judge David L. Bazelon of the U.S. Circuit Court for the District of Columbia (1981-82) and U.S. Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan Jr. (1983-84). Next, he worked at Washington’s Williams & Connolly, and after six years, went in-house as vice president and senior counsel for General Electric Co. Leaving in 1996, he served with McDonald’s Corp. in Chicago as executive vice president and general counsel, and as president of its Partner Brands. He joined Pfizer in early 2002. Personal: Kindler and his wife, Sharon Sullivan, have two children: Joshua, 19, and Samantha, 16. He fills his spare time with skiing, piano playing and “a little bit of very bad golf.” Last book and movie: “The Plot Against America,” by Philip Roth, and “Sideways.”

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