Thursday, March 08, 2007

Charting a New Course

Charting a New Course

I sent this email to my co-workers at Pfizer last Friday. The responses I've received over the last week have been touching, sad, rewarding and profound. I have made many friends and am honored to have worked with such quality people.

Dear Pfizer Colleagues –

This is a very difficult message to write. After experiencing six remarkable years with Pfizer, I have decided to close this chapter of my career and begin a new one outside of the company. BearingPoint is in the process of aligning their Life Sciences and Healthcare practices and they have asked me to lead the effort in building their strategy around the convergence of clinical research and clinical care. My last day with Pfizer will be March 16th.

I’ve been discussing this possibility with my managers for several weeks now. In many ways, this change of venue is less a departure from Pfizer’s Healthcare Informatics team and more an extension of it. There are many times when it is easier to influence the external environment from an external vantage point. In this new capacity, I hope to become a strong ally and partner with Pfizer as it maintains its leadership position as the most forward-thinking pharmaceutical company in the realm of healthcare informatics. There is much to be done in the coming decade if we are to reap the potential benefits of bi-directional information flow and I look forward to laboring with all of you to make it happen.

I am deeply grateful for the many friends and mentors I have had the pleasure of knowing in the years since joining Pfizer in 2001. I have been privileged to work with colleagues from US Planning & Business Development, Pfizer Health Solutions, Business Technology, the Pfizer Strategic Investment Group, Worldwide Marketing, Medical Humanities and Pfizer Global Research and Development. With each new initiative, I gained increasing respect for the caliber of people who have built Pfizer into such a remarkable organization through their professionalism and passion.

More than anyone, though, I am indebted to Steve Labkoff, who recruited me into Pfizer so he could "clone himself" and move to a new position. A few years later, Steve became my manager. He has worked tirelessly to help me succeed in my efforts to increase the value of our medicines by influencing health information technology standards and policies. He advocated for my move to Washington, DC – a move that has significantly impacted the way others view Pfizer’s leadership and commitment to healthcare’s transformation. He protected me and my radical notions so they would have time to mature and gain acceptance. He reined me in when I ventured too far from the course. I doubt that I will ever receive the same level of commitment and support from a manager again.

The hardest part of this decision, in fact, has been the prospect of leaving Steve, David Isom, and my colleagues in PHI. Though we formed this team just a year ago, we quickly established a strong bond and rapport, both of which have only grown stronger over time. You will all be missed.

Unless BearingPoint hires another Ross Martin in the next couple of weeks, beginning March 26th I assume my new email address will be ross.martin @ You can always keep track of me through my personal website at where you can download songs, send email, read random musings on my blog or check out my son’s latest New Year’s poem (which is now available – a mere two months late – by clicking on "taylor jay").

Thank you, thank you, thank you.