Pfizer's CEO Ian Read to leave in January

Last Updated Oct 1, 2018 10:36 AM EDT

Pfizer will replace CEO Ian Read with Chief Operating Officer Albert Bourla in January. Bourla was unanimously elected by the board of directors, the pharmaceutical company reported Monday.

Read, 65, has been Pfizer's CEO nearly for nearly eight years, since December 2010. He became its chairman the following year. "Given my age, it's time for me to move on," Read told the Wall Street Journal in a story published Monday.

In a company statement, Read called Bourla "the right person to guide Pfizer" and an "energizing leader" with a commitment to serving patients. 

The 56-year-old Bourla was named chief operating officer in January. Before that, he served as the head of the company's innovative health business. He also has run the drugmaker's vaccines, oncology and consumer health care segments.

New York-based Pfizer Inc.'s products include the cholesterol pill Lipitor and the pain medication Lyrica. The company has come under fire this year for raising prices on about 100 drugs. However, it said it would hold off on the price increases after a critical tweet from President Donald Trump. 

Shares of the drugmaker slipped in early-morning trading.