Jeffrey Kindler graduated summa cum laude from Tufts University in 1977 and magna cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1980. He subsequently clerked for Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan Jr. and worked at the law firm Williams & Connolly in Washington, D.C. He then moved to the corporate sector with a period as Vice President and Senior Counselor for General Electric Co. and later as Executive Vice President of Corporate Relations and General Counsel for McDonald's. He rose to become President of Partner Brands (including Boston Market and Chipotle Mexican Grill) for McDonald's until 2002, when he moved to Pfizer to serve as General Counsel. Kindler's role at Pfizer quickly took on critical importance as the company faced a vast array of generic assaults on its patents, most notably on the $12 billion drug Lipitor, and the rising threat of counterfeit drugs.
On February 24, 2005, along with Karen Katen and David Shedlarz, Kindler was named Vice Chairman of Pfizer's board, setting off a three-way competition to succeed then-CEO Hank McKinnell. Many expected Katen, a long-time veteran of the commercial team and head of Pfizer's Human Health Group, to succeed McKinnell over the top lawyer Kindler and the top financier Shedlarz.
On December 18, 2006, Kindler was elected by Pfizer's board of directors to serve as Chairman. "Pfizer under Kindler was the leading spender on lobbying in an industry that spent the more on lobbying than any other. The company's $25 million lobby budget in 2009 shattered industry records. But during the health care reform debate that year, Kindler wasn't just deploying revolving-door hired hands to K Street - he was working the halls of power himself." "Kindler was at the first Obama White House meeting with the drug industry on March 5, 2009. He also took part in the June and July 2009 meetings at the White House where Obama agreed to drop his campaign promise to allow re-importation of prescription drugs . . . in exchange for the drug industry's support of the bill and vulnerable Senate Democrats who backed it."
Kindler resigned in December, 2010 after Pfizer stock lost 35% of its value under Kindler and underperformed 97% of all S&P Stocks. Kindler reaped millions while losing millions of dollars for Pfizer's investors over 4 1/2 years.  Three weeks later, Kindler resigned from the board of New York's Federal Reserve Bank stating he no longer fills the Fed's need for "current, high level information about the business environment." 
While CEO of Pfizer in 2008, Jeffrey B. Kindler earned a total compensation of $14,788,302, which included a base salary of $1,575,000, a cash bonus of $3,000,000, stocks granted of $7,553,015, and options granted of $2,222,026.
"Justifying Kindler's 12.5 percent salary increase to $1.8 million, the Pfizer's proxy report stated:
During 2009, Mr. Kindler was actively involved, through both Pfizer and external organizations, in developing and advancing U.S. and global public policies that serve the overall interests of our Company and our shareholders. These efforts included constructive participation in the U.S. legislative process to advance Pfizer's goals of achieving a more rational operating environment; improving Americans' access to quality, affordable health care."
- "Pfizer Promotes 3 Executives to Vice Chairman Positions". The New York Times. February 25, 2005. Retrieved October 13, 2010.
- "Pfizer Names Kindler Chief, Replacing Hank McKinnell". Bloomberg.com. July 28, 2006. Retrieved October 13, 2010.
- Carney, Timothy (2011-03-13) Obama-style executives see government as a partner, Washington Examiner
- Randall, Tom (December 6, 2010). "Pfizer CEO Kindler Resigns After Stock Underperforms 97 Percent of S&P 500". Bloomberg.
- "Senior Writer". CNN.
- Elkind, Peter; Reingold, Jennifer (August 15, 2011). "Inside Pfizer's Palace Coup". Fortune 164 (3): 76–91. Retrieved September 4, 2011.
- 2008 CEO Compensation for Jeffrey B. Kindler, Equilar.com