International pharmaceuticals giant Pfizer has announced the appointment of its first Chief Digital Officer (CDO).
The New York headquartered business announced the appointment of Lidia Fonseca as CDO in a raft of leadership changes. Pfizer is one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical businesses and produces a wide range of medicines and vaccines for cardiology, endocrinology, immunology, neurology and oncology. It is also famed as the maker of Viagra the erectile dysfunction drug. Fonesca joins Pfizer from the pharmaceutical sector.
“Given the growing strategic importance of deploying digital technologies in research, discovery and business processes, Pfizer is appointing a Chief Digital Officer responsible for creating and implementing a strategy that accelerates and improves our digital capabilities so we can deliver more value to patients,” Pfizer said in a statement.
The Pfizer statement is interesting. Since the CDO title first burst onto the business technology leadership scene there has been what can only be described as confusion about the role of digital, with many business-to-business organisations claiming they need to develop digital customer services. This statement from Pfizer clearly identifies that digital methods can benefit the core elements of the Pfizer business, “research, discovery and business process”. A raft of new technologies can enable Pfizer to increase the pace of research, collaboration will improve discovery and business processes can be streamlined with a reduction in code or applications. Here in the UK CDO Richard Cross demonstrated how engineering firm Atkins was able to improve its core services by using digital processes, but remain loyal to its core business of civil engineering.
Fonesca joins Pfizer in January 2019 from Quest Diagnostics an international clinical laboratory services organisation where she is CIO. Before joining Quest Diagnostics Fonesca had also held senior business technology leadership roles with Synarc Incorporated and Philips Healthcare.