Jeff Kindler

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Jeffrey B. Kindler is a healthcare executive and private investor in the United States.


Jeff Kindler is the CEO of Centrexion Inc., a privately held clinical stage biopharmaceutical company that develops pain therapeutics, and Chairman of the GLG Institute, a membership-based community of prominent executives, policy leaders, technologists, and scientists that convenes engagements to support business and skill development for the world's top professionals.[1] Prior to joining Centrexion, Kindler was the CEO of Pfizer from 2006-2010. He is also a Venture Partner at Lux Capital, a leading venture capital firm, and a director at Starboard Capital Partners, a Connecticut-based private equity firm.[2]

He previously 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.

Kindler also serves on the boards of a number of public and privately held companies, including Intrexon Inc. (NYSE: XON), Siga Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: SIGA), AgaMatrix, and PPD, LLC. (Pharmaceutical Product Development LLC). Kindler also serves on several nonprofit boards, including Tufts University; the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University (CASA Columbia); and the Manhattan Theatre Club. He is a member of President Obama’s Management Advisory Board.[3]

Kindler earned his BA in 1977 from Tufts University summa cum laude and his JD in 1980 from Harvard Law School magna cum laude, where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review.[4]


Early Career[edit]

Kindler began his career as an attorney at the Federal Communications Commission. He served as a law clerk to Judge David L. Bazelon of the U.S. Court of Appeals of the D.C. Circuit and later as a law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan Jr.. Following his clerkship with Justice Brennan, Kindler practiced civil and criminal litigation at the Washington D.C. firm of Williams & Connolly, where he became a partner.[5] Kindler served as Co-Counsel to Elena Kagan in United States v. Jarrett Woods.[6]

General Electric Co. (GE)[edit]

In 1990, Kindler joined the legal team at General Electric and began working under Ben Heineman, who was recognized for revolutionizing the role of the in-house corporate lawyer.[7] Kindler was promoted to Vice President of Litigation and Legal Policy and worked alongside a number of GE lawyers who went on to major executive roles at other companies, including Bill Lytton, future general counsel of Tyco International; Theodore Boehm, future Justice of the Indiana Supreme Court; and Frank Blake, future Chief Executive Officer of The Home Depot.[8][9] In 1994, Kindler worked with future Assistant Attorney General for the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division William Baer and renowned trial lawyer Dan Webb on the winning litigation team tasked with defending GE against diamond price-fixing claims. Although GE was acquitted at trial, De Beers was also charged and subsequently pleaded guilty to keeping prices in the worldwide industrial diamond market artificially high.[10]


In 1996, Kindler joined McDonald's Corporation as Executive Vice President and General Counsel for legal and corporate affairs. [11] After leading the successful acquisition of Boston Market, Kindler became President of Boston Market Corp. and then of Partner Brands, which consisted of all of McDonald’s non-hamburger concepts, which included, in addition to Boston Market, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Donato’s Pizza, Pret a Manger, and others. [12] At the time of Kindler’s appointment, the company was trying to revive its USA restaurant brand amid slow sales growth and an increasingly health-conscious consumer base. Recognizing Boston Market’s loyal customer base, Kindler remodeled stores across the country and placed a greater emphasis on catering to boost earnings. As a result, the chain saw year-on-year sales increases of 7% to 8% every month, while revenue grew to more than $700 million a year.

Pfizer CEO[edit]

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.[13] 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 July 28, 2006, Pfizer's board of directors selected Kindler to succeed McKinnell as CEO immediately.[14]

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."[15] "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."[15]

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. [16] 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." [17]

In 2011, Fortune magazine wrote a scathing article detailing Kindler's leadership of Pfizer.[18]


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.[19]

"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."[15]

Political activities[edit]

Kindler donated $5,000 to Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election.[15]


  1. ^ "Centrexion | InterWest" Retrieved on 8 September 2014.
  2. ^ "Former Pfizer head Kindler joins Lux Capital" 10/08/12. Retrieved on September 8, 2014.
  3. ^ "Jeffrey Kindler: Executive Profile & Biography - Businessweek" Retrieved on September 8, 2014.
  4. ^ "Advisory Board | Harvard Association for Law and Business", Retrieved on 8 September 2014.
  5. ^ "Jeffrey B. Kindler | The White House", Retrieved on 16 September 2014.
  6. ^ "Elena Kagan - Public Questionnaire", Washington Post, Retrieved on 16 September 2014.
  7. ^ "GE's Key Lawyer Rewired the Game", WSJ, Oct. 31, 2005. Retrieved on 16 September 2014.
  8. ^ "In the Beginning - Harvard Law School",, April 2006. Retrieved on 16 September 2014.
  9. ^ "Indiana Supreme Court Justice Theodore Boehm to Step Down from Bench", May 25, 2010. Retrieved on 16 September 2014.
  10. ^ "De Beers pleads guilty in price fixing case - NBC News", July 13, 2004. Retrieved on 16 September 2014.
  11. ^ "Boston Market: There's Life in the Old Bird Yet", May 13, 2001.
  12. ^ "GLG Names Jeff Kindler Global Chair of GLG Institute", Oct. 17, 2014, GLG.
  13. ^ "Pfizer Promotes 3 Executives to Vice Chairman Positions". The New York Times. February 25, 2005. Retrieved October 13, 2010. 
  14. ^ "Pfizer Names Kindler Chief, Replacing Hank McKinnell". July 28, 2006. Retrieved October 13, 2010. 
  15. ^ a b c d Carney, Timothy (2011-03-13) Obama-style executives see government as a partner, Washington Examiner
  16. ^ Randall, Tom (December 6, 2010). "Pfizer CEO Kindler Resigns After Stock Underperforms 97 Percent of S&P 500". Bloomberg. 
  17. ^ Colin Barr (December 29, 2010). "Pfizer's Kindler quits the Fed". CNN. Retrieved September 8, 2014. 
  18. ^ Elkind, Peter; Reingold, Jennifer (August 15, 2011). "Inside Pfizer's Palace Coup". Fortune 164 (3): 76–91. Retrieved September 4, 2011. 
  19. ^ 2008 CEO Compensation for Jeffrey B. Kindler,