Albert Bourla is not only the chairman and chief executive officer of Pfizer, one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies, but also a visionary leader who has transformed the industry with his passion for science and innovation. His leadership and courage were instrumental in developing and delivering the Pfizer–BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, one of the most remarkable scientific achievements in history, in record time. He also spearheaded the development of the first oral antiviral treatment for COVID-19, as well as many other breakthroughs in areas such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, and infectious diseases. Albert Bourla is a remarkable example of how one person can make a difference in the world with his vision, values, and actions.
Date of birth
October 21, 1961
Place of birth
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and Ph.D. in Biotechnology of Reproduction from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Joined Pfizer in 1993 as a veterinarian and technical director for the animal health division in Greece; held several senior positions across Pfizer’s divisions; became chief operating officer in 2018 and chief executive officer in 2019
Led Pfizer’s transformation to become a more science-driven and innovative company; oversaw the development and distribution of the Pfizer–BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine; wrote a book titled Moonshot: Inside Pfizer’s Nine-Month Race to Make the Impossible Possible; received the 2022 Genesis Prize and other honors and recognitions
Survivors of the Holocaust in Thessaloniki
Animals, medicine, science, innovation, social responsibility
Courage, excellence, equity, joy
Breakthroughs that change patients’ lives
To have a transformational impact on human health
Business Roundtable, The Business Council, trade association, Biotechnology Innovation Organization, Partnership for New York City, Catalyst, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, Pfizer Foundation
Albert Bourla was born on October 21, 1961 in Greece. Born and raised in Greece, Albert was the only child in the Bourla household. He developed an interest in the field of medicine when he was quite young and wanted to be a doctor. After finishing his education at a local high school, Albert started working for his veterinary degree at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in 1979. He later received his Ph.D. in the Biotechnology of Reproduction from the Veterinary School of Aristotle University.
Albert Bourla has been a one-company man throughout his career. He began his career at Pfizer in 1993 and is now the CEO of the company. Albert joined the company as Technical Director of the Animal Health Division in Greece. During his time in Greece, Albert worked for the betterment of Animal Health across Europe. In 2001, Albert was invited to work at the headquarters of Pfizer located in New York.
Through his hard work and dedication in his work, Albert continued serving the company in several roles. In his first 10 years in New York Albert worked as the US Group Marketing Director (2001-2004), Vice President of Business Development and New Products Marketing (2004-2006), and Area President of Animal Health Europe, Africa and the Middle East (2006-2009). In 2009, Albert was also asked to take responsibility for the Asia and Pacific regions.
Albert’s first big managerial role came in 2010 when he was appointed in the post of General Manager for Pfizer’s Established Products business from 2010-2013. In 2014, Albert switched over as Group President of Pfizer’s Global Vaccines, Oncology, and Consumer Healthcare business. During his tenure, Albert helped the company to make a breakthrough in the vaccine market.
Moving on Albert was appointed as the Group President of Pfizer Innovative Health. He held the position from February 2016 to December 2017 and was responsible for Consumer Healthcare, Inflammation & Immunology, Internal Medicine, Oncology, Rare Disease, and Vaccines business groups. Promotion came quickly for Albert who was appointed as the Chief Operating Officer (COO) effective from January 2018. And after 25 years at the company, Albert was handed over the reins of Pfizer. In January of 2019, Albert assumed office as the CEO. And while there were no questions regarding his capabilities, Albert proved his worth once again and was named America’s top CEO in the Pharmaceuticals sector by Institutional Investor magazine.
A Leader in the Fight Against COVID-19
Albert Bourla has been at the helm of Pfizer since January 2019, overseeing its operations, strategy, and vision. Under his leadership, Pfizer has achieved remarkable milestones in the field of medicine, especially in the development of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, which has been widely used to combat the global pandemic.
Bourla recognized the urgency and magnitude of the crisis and mobilized Pfizer’s resources and expertise to find a solution. He authorized a massive investment of $2 billion to fund the research and development of a COVID-19 vaccine, without any guarantee of success or government support. He also empowered his team of scientists and researchers to work with speed and agility, while maintaining the highest standards of safety and efficacy.
In less than a year, Pfizer and BioNTech were able to develop, test, and manufacture a COVID-19 vaccine that showed 95% effectiveness in preventing symptomatic infection. The vaccine was based on mRNA technology, which had never been used before in an approved vaccine. The vaccine was authorized for emergency use by several regulatory authorities around the world, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the European Medicines Agency (EMA), and the World Health Organization (WHO). The vaccine was also distributed globally through various agreements and initiatives, which aimed to ensure equitable access to vaccines for low- and middle-income countries.
Awards and Recognitions
Bourla’s vision and courage have been widely praised and recognized by various organizations and media outlets. He was awarded with Golden Cross of the Order of the Redeemer, the Order of Boyacá, and the Order of the Independence from the First Degree, in 2022. He was named “CEO of the Year” by CNN Business in 2021 for his role in leading Pfizer to produce the first effective COVID-19 vaccine. He was also awarded the 2022 Genesis Prize for his contribution to humanity and his representation of Jewish values. Additionally, he was ranked as “America’s Top CEO in the Pharmaceuticals Sector” by Institutional Investor magazine in 2020. He earned a 2022 Double Helix Medal, Courage Against Hate Award, 2022 Eisenhower Global Citizenship Award, Distinguished Leadership Award, the Peter G. Peterson Business Statesmanship Award and the Bower Award in Business Leadership, as well.
Personal Life and Net Worth
As Albert stays away from social media and media in general, it is very hard to find details on his personal life. Albert Bourla is happily married to Myriam Alchanati. They have two children, a son and a daughter. Albert and Myriam are proud of their children and support them in their endeavors. They enjoy spending time together as a family, especially during holidays and vacations.. AS of 2023, Albert has a total net worth of over USD 25 million.
Albert has always dedicated his work to the betterment of medical science. Over the years, Albert has served in a different capacity at several groups like The Partnership for New York City, United States Council for International Business, and Business Round-table and the Business Council.