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Pfizer Biotech Chief Signs Vow of Silence for $1.7 Million

Corey Goodman, the guy hired to run Pfizer's "Bioinnovation Center" in San Francisco, signed an omertà-style vow upon leaving the company: He must never talk about Pfizer again, to anyone, ever, the agreement basically states.

Pfizer, which had too many R&D chiefs following its decision to merge with Wyeth, made Goodman an offer he couldn't refuse: Leave quietly and you won't have to pay back a $1.7 million loan.

But to get that $1.7 million, Goodman had to sign the following vow of silence. You'll note that technically it does allow Goodman to talk about his time at Pfizer -- as long as he's being forced to for legal reasons or as long as he only says nice things about the company.

But as he's banned from saying anything "true or false" (!) that might cast Pfizer "in a critical or unfavorable light," his lawyer will simply advise him never to talk about Big Blue again.

Here's what the parchment says:

Dr. Goodman will not disparage any Pfizer Released Party or any Pfizer Released Party's goods, services, employees, customers, business relationships, or financial condition. No member of Pfizer's Executive Leadership Team will disparage Dr. Goodman. For purposes of this Agreement, to "disparage" means to make statements, whether true or false, that cast the subject of the statement in a critical or unfavorable light. Nothing in the foregoing will preclude Dr. Goodman or the other individuals referenced in this paragraph from providing truthful disclosures to an appropriate government agency, arbitrator, or court related to a legally-required filing, a governmental investigation, or a pending matter in controversy.

Neither Dr. Goodman nor anyone acting by, through, under or in concert with him will speak to the press or other news or public media about his employment at Pfizer, the circumstances of his resignation from employment with Pfizer, or this Agreement, other than remarks or responses consistent with the agreed-upon communication described in paragraph 3 of this Agreement. Neither any member of Pfizer's Executive Leadership Team, nor any member of the Pfizer media relations team or the Pfizer investor relations team, nor anyone acting by, through, under or in concert with such person, will speak to the press or other news or public media about Dr. Goodman's employment at Pfizer, the circumstances of his resignation from employment with Pfizer, or this Agreement, other than remarks or responses consistent with the agreed-upon communication described in paragraph 3 of this Agreement. Notwithstanding the foregoing, this Agreement may be disclosed as required by applicable securities or other laws, and introduced as evidence in a subsequent proceeding in which either Dr. Goodman or a Released Party alleges a breach of this Agreement, or one of them asserts any claim or commences any legal proceeding against the other.

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