The Purpose Blueprint: Q&A with Albert Bourla
Sustainable LeadershipLeadershipTransformation InnovationHealthcareSustainabilityTeam Effectiveness
Article Icon Podcast
October 16, 2020
9 min read
Sustainable LeadershipLeadershipTransformation InnovationHealthcareSustainabilityTeam Effectiveness
Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla says his company has a new determination to lead with purpose and to become one of the most purpose-driven organizations in the world.

The Purpose Blueprint: Q&A with Albert Bourla

RRA Healthcare interview series “Healthcare Leading Forward: Sustainable Leadership in Action”

Albert Bourla is Chairman and CEO of Pfizer, a USD 52 billion multinational pharmaceutical company based in the US. Prior to taking the reins as CEO in January 2019, he served as Pfizer’s COO, responsible for overseeing the Company’s commercial strategy, manufacturing, and global product development functions. A doctor of veterinary medicine by training with a PhD in biotechnology, Albert has held a diverse range of roles since joining Pfizer in 1993, including leadership roles in Pfizer’s Animal Health divisions around the globe. He is on the executive committee of The Partnership for New York City, a trustee of the United States Council for International Business, and a member of the Business Roundtable and the Business Council.

Recently, Albert spoke with Jacques Bouwens, a Senior Partner in the Global Healthcare Sector, and Sarah Galloway, a co-leader of the Sustainability Practice at Russell Reynolds Associates. He shared how Pfizer’s recent decision to lead with purpose has transformed the way it conducts its business.

The interview presented below has been edited and abridged for clarity.

Jacques Bouwens

Albert, it is a real pleasure to speak with you today. As Chairman and CEO, you lead Pfizer in its purpose, or “Breakthroughs that change patients’ lives.” But this purpose is only two years old. Can you please talk about the thought process behind choosing a new purpose for a 170-year-old company?

Albert Bourla

First of all, let me say how grateful I am for the opportunity to speak with you and Sarah. To answer your question, I do not think that Pfizer’s purpose is two years old. Pfizer's purpose, its reason for existing has always been what it is today – to bring medicines to people. What is new, however, is our determination to lead with this purpose, and to become one