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Pfizer CEO Ian Read to Step Aside Next Year for Albert Bourla to Take the Reins

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Ian Read, Pfizer CEO, at the 34th annual J.P. Morgan Health Care Conference on January 11, 2016 in San Francisco, Calif.Mark Neuling—CNBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Pfizer CEO Ian Read is calling it quits.

Read will step down as Pfizer’s CEO on January 1 and move into the executive chairman role, Pfizer announced on Monday. Current Pfizer chief operating officer Dr. Albert Bourla will succeed Read.

In a statement, Read said that “now is the right time for a leadership change” at the company. He lauded Bourla’s experience and said that he’s the right person to “deliver the next stage of growth” at Pfizer.

Read has been Pfizer’s CEO since 2010. In that time, he’s returned more than $120 billion to shareholders and increased shareholder dividends from 80 cents in 2010 to $1.36 now. He’s widely respected by Pfizer shareholders and has grown the company’s stock price considerably over the last several years.

Bourla has been at Pfizer for 25 years and has led the company’s Innovative Health business. In a statement, Pfizer said Bourla grew that group to “record revenues” of $31.4 billion and built an Emerging Markets division inside Innovative Health that posted $4.4 billion in revenue last year. He’s also led Pfizer’s Vaccines, Oncology, and Consumer Healthcare unit.

Bourla said in a statement that he’s “humbled and privileged” to take on the new position and said that he will work with Read in his new role.

Shareholders, meanwhile, seem unmoved by the move. In pre-market trading, Pfizer’s shares were up just 0.39% to $44.24.