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Pfizer has a lot going on these days: It’s developing Omicron booster shots, plans to test its Covid pill, Paxlovid, in children younger than 12, and it’s on the hunt for deals.

What do all of those things have to do with each other? They will all fall under the remit, entirely or in part, of the company’s new chief development officer, William Pao, who Pfizer announced Tuesday it had hired from Roche, where he was head of early research.


Pfizer’s CEO, Albert Bourla, said in an interview that Pao has “an impeccable resume” and that he is “an exceptional human being.” One of his biggest jobs, Bourla made clear, will be to work with Mikael Dolsten, Pfizer’s head of research, to decide what biotechnology firms to buy with the money Pfizer will make from its Covid vaccine and pill. Together, analysts at the investment bank Leerink estimate, they could generate $60 billion in revenue next year alone. Pao and Dolsten will both report directly to Bourla.

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