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Pfizer CEO opens up about his company's success in creating a Covid vaccine

November 16, 2021 00:00 AM UTC
- Updated November 16, 2021 18:30 PM UTC

Dr. Albert Bourla: "If not us, then who?"

you have a pretty unmatched suite of products now, An antiviral pill. Um, and we should remember that a year ago, About a year ago. This time the first vaccine trial results came out Now we're many people are vaccinated. There's pill you can take for treatment. Um, how are you doing this as fast? Uh, leaders are always trying to figure out how to execute faster. You've done this all pretty much warp speed. So how have you prepared your company come out with a full suite of products this quickly. Um, and what are some tips on executing that you can give the rest of us. First of all, thank you very much for the invitation is a great honor to be here. First of all, the event. It's an iconic event, I would say. And but also being among my fellow ceos, what you hear right for all of us, no matter what we were doing. And of course a great pleasure to be in the read by you that I've heard you are very difficult. I am yeah, I had the opportunity to, I look at you and your eyes and I realized that they're going to have problems. So what was the question how we were able to mobilize the team to do that very fast. Um, first of all, we need to put things into context, the conditions under which we had to do it. It was a time that the world was really scared. It was the time that we were all living things that we have never lived before. We never thought we would live remember in new york the ambulances caring really people and bodies right. So it was at the time that people need to rise to the occasion no matter what. And it's not that is not that difficult to motivate someone to do the extra, not only mild but uh really way beyond what it is expected to do when you know that what is at stake is not only you is not the company, it is your family, it is the world. So that helps a lot. It was not that I was trying to explain them why we have to do it. The words that I used with them was only if not us then who and that's it. They realized that we do have all the resources that we need to put together and its artists to try to make the difference. So this is how things when now the motivation is very very important. I don't think anything can happen without motivation, but it's not enough. You need also to be able to know how to work the system and how to be able to deliver results in. Mhm. Again, because of the pandemic. We were able to test and do things completely, completely, completely different. Then the things that we used the way that we used to do things and we put that I really can't spend the entire time talking things that we did differently. But I would say the most important was that we needed to beat the bureaucracy, the internal bureaucracy, the external bureaucracy, that would be the main impediment. I felt into being able to move fast. The external bureaucracy, we didn't take the money from the government. When you take money from the government. They wanted people in your committees to discuss how you're going to spend it rightly. So if they give you taxpayers money, they need to have let's say they the oversight on that. I didn't want to so I want to protect the scientists from that. But also internally Big corporations that have tremendous big bureaucracy, the -4 players that will do bailey the work, They will come to -3 and present and then If they agree, they will let them go to -2. If they disagree to peers needs to disagree with. You can hold it for a week. All right, and then goes to -2 goes to -1. We didn't work with layers. We We created one thing that was three or 4 layers of management representing every time. So they didn't have time for pre meetings to align because it was happening twice a week and I was there in all of them. So there was someone that can make decisions and that's the problem with preparations. But because of the silos, it's very difficult to make decisions unless if you are really the boss. But because of the layers, the boss is finding out very late after everything is good. So I think those some of the tips, let's say that help us to to move very, very, very far.