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Pfizer Picks Alcatel-Lucent Exec as New CFO

Pfizer on Wednesday said it named Frank A. D'Amelio, a senior executive of Alcatel-Lucent, as chief financial officer of the struggling drugmaker.

D'Amelio, who is currently chief administrative officer of French-American telecommunications equipment maker Alcatel-Lucent, will take over his Pfizer post in mid-September, the pharmaceuticals firm said in a release.

His appointment comes as the world's largest drugmaker, whose products include cholesterol fighter Lipitor and anti-impotence treatment Viagra, is relying heavily on cost-saving initiatives to offset declining revenue of its wide array of prescription medicines.

D'Amelio will succeed Alan Levin, whose resignation was announced in May along with the planned retirement by year's end of Pfizer research chief John LaMattina.

New York-based Pfizer said D'Amelio has almost 30 years experience at AT&T , Lucent Technologies and Alcatel-Lucent , and played a big role in the 2006 Alcatel-Lucent merger.

"Frank was a senior executive in global companies undergoing the kind of rapid and complex changes we have undertaken at Pfizer in response to our own rapidly changing markets," Pfizer Chief Executive Jeff Kindler said.

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Kindler said D'Amelio would work closely with David Shedlarz, a Pfizer vice chairman who was CFO of the company for many years before Levin's two-year tenure.

D'Amelio's appointment is the latest in a number of executive changes at Pfizer since the company ousted Hank McKinnell, the longtime chief executive, in July 2006.

Shares of Pfizer had plunged 40 percent since McKinnell became chairman in May 2001 as the company failed to launch lucrative new medicines despite an industry-topping $7 billion annual research budget.

Kindler himself had limited experience in the drug industry before taking the helm of Pfizer, having served relatively briefly as Pfizer's top lawyer following senior executive roles at McDonald's.

Shares of Pfizer were up 30 cents, or 1.24 percent, at $24.54 in Wednesday morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange.