PFIZER EXEC: Here's One Way To Get Promoted -- Threaten To Leave*

Kristin Peck

Photo: vimeo

Kristin Peck, Pfizer’s EVP of worldwide business development and innovation, told Fortune how she unexpectedly got promoted by one CEO, and then kept her job when she expected to lose it. The first instance happened in July 2006, well after she gave her bosses a six-month ultimatum: give me a new job or I’m leaving. 

Her deadline had passed, and she had an offer from Citigroup on the table, which she disclosed the same day Jeffrey Kindler joined the company as CEO.

In short order she got a call from Kindler, who told her to give him 24 hours. He delivered.

Last December, when Kindler got the boot, she thought Pfizer’s new CEO, Ian Read, would “definitely fire” her — but once again, the opposite happened.

She credits this to “not only managing up but across as well” — developing relationships and being politically savvy all throughout the corporation. 

“No one should ever underestimate you because you could end up anywhere,” she told Fortune. “And you should never underestimate anybody else.”

Before joining Pfizer in 2004, Peck worked for Boston Consulting Group.

*CORRECTION: This post originally stated that Kristin Peck had received two unexpected promotions from Pfizer’s CEOs. This was wrong, and we apologise for the error.

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