Why do you go to the World Economic Forum?
Pfizer has been involved with the World Economic Forum for the past decade. More recently we have become one of the Forum's strategic partners, the highest category of participation. We believe the annual meeting at Davos and other Forum events provide an opportunity to exchange views on key corporate and public policy issues with a wide variety of stakeholders, many of whom we normally do not encounter in the daily routine of running a global business. Hence we are able to obtain fresh perspectives, widen our contacts, and generate ideas that can inform our business strategy and lead to useful new initiatives from a societal point of view.
What did strike you most at this year's meeting in Davos?
The most striking aspect of this year's meeting was the shared commitment to work with a wide variety of stakeholders to improve the level of trust in global institutions. This is not only a commitment built around CEO and corporate governance issues, where our collective reputation has been damaged by the errors and illegalities of a few. We also emerged with a strengthened stance on the importance of making progress on multilateral trade liberalization. Without improved trade access, development and economic growth will stagnate and public trust in key institutions will face a renewed test.
What did you learn at this year's meeting?
My objective as CEO is to work together with 90,000 colleagues worldwide to make Pfizer the world's most valued company - not simply in terms of what return we deliver to shareholders, although that is important, but also in terms of what we do to enhance individual freedom and opportunity in the communities we serve. As this year's co-chair, I was able to relay our key message about values to a wide variety of influential people in government, other industries, the media, and the NGO community. I see Davos as being essentially about communicating ideas that can inform policy choices down the line.