CMO 50: Sally Susman

EVP, chief corporate affairs officer, Pfizer

Pfizer was already a household name in the pharmaceutical world, but it rose to prominence in the past year as one of the few developers of an effective COVID-19 vaccine. Partnering with German biotechnology company BioNTech, Pfizer is planning to produce 1.3 billion doses of the vaccine this year, protecting millions from the virus and curbing the spread. 

As EVP and chief corporate affairs officer, Sally Susman oversees communications, government relations, investor relations and relationships with Pfizer’s external stakeholders. The pharma giant doesn’t have a CMO, leaving Susman in charge of branding and reputation. As Pfizer raced to develop a COVID-19 vaccine, she led the push to rebrand the company with a new logo to mark its shift away from a diversified healthcare giant into a biopharmaceuticals company focused on developing prescription drugs and vaccines. 

The new logo coincides with a new era for pharma brands, where consumers feel more positively towards such companies and want to understand more about how they work. Susman was also behind Pfizer’s recent brand campaign, Science Will Win, which features scientists in PPE and humanizes medical care. 

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