ELITE 2018 Disrupter Risa Wexler of Pfizer Inc.

Risa Wexler

VP Media, Digital Chops, Innovation Sprint Lab

Pfizer Inc.

Pushing Digital to New Limits

Risa Wexler has been accelerating change in healthcare marketing since 2003, when she joined Pfizer’s Marketing Center of Excellence (MCoE) team, made up of 15 plus people across Digital, Media, and Innovation. The MCoE team, now led solely by Risa, represents the sixth largest U.S. advertiser. The team’s work is broad and ranges from optimizing what works to developing, piloting, and scaling new capabilities and then training marketers on these new skills to meet their strategic needs.

As part of a shift to maximize patient impact using technology, Risa developed an innovative digital capability for Pfizer’s field representatives in 2013, enabling them to meet the needs of their customers by providing timely information and resources in a compliant and impactful manner. She followed that new channel build with the introduction of a cutting-edge video technology to help those same representatives expand their addressable footprint. Enabling representatives to interact with physicians in new ways has become a vital step in Pfizer’s ongoing efforts to offer more value to physicians when and how they want it.

Most recently, Risa challenged Pfizer’s standard ways of doing business by expanding the scope of the MCoE team to include a focus on innovation methodologies and acceleration techniques such as rapid prototyping. She spearheaded the launch of a new team that will support brands across the organization in their quest to quickly experiment and bring new business opportunities to market in a structured and agile way.

Risa’s innovative achievements have been acknowledged in many ways, including numerous awards in Pfizer’s global innovation contests, with two wins in 2017 alone. It is her thinking, partnership, optimism, and way of working that has helped position Pfizer at the forefront of digital capabilities in the pharma space.

“Risa is a change leader who is known for a unique super power,” explains Ellen Wingard, Harvard Business School Executive Coach, who has worked with Risa for several years. “The ability to win the trust and belief of her stakeholders and colleagues to see the value of whatever needs disruption and lead the way forward.”


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