Building a “Lightspeed” Culture: How a Global Pandemic Transformed Manufacturing and Distribution

  • Bolstering our supply chain: Strengthening relationships with industry partners to overcome a global health crisis
  • Making the impossible possible: “Project Lightspeed” and the development, manufacture, and distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine
  • Where do we go from here? Ensuring this experience is a catalyst for change for our industry
  • Key takeaways: upending our conventional ways of working and the resilience of our amazing colleagues

Mike McDermott
Chief Global Supply Officer, EVP


As Chief Global Supply Officer, EVP, Mike McDermott leads all of Pfizer’s internal and external manufacturing and supply chain activities.

Mike and the Pfizer Global Supply (PGS) team work to ensure uninterrupted supply for Pfizer’s entire product portfolio, which includes hundreds of medicines and vaccines – more than 38 billion doses each year.  The PGS network includes approximately 30,000 colleagues and contractors and 39 Pfizer global manufacturing sites.

Recent highlights include the rapid ramp-up of manufacturing and global distribution of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine; ongoing efforts to enhance COVID-19 vaccine production and distribution processes; and the expedited production of Pfizer’s novel COVID-19 oral antiviral.

Mike has more than 30 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry and has held positions in all aspects of supply operations as well as in Marketing and Finance.  He joined Wyeth in 1989 as a Project Engineer in Pearl River, New York.  Mike returned to Pearl River in 2003 as the site’s Managing Director for Vaccines manufacturing and was elevated to the role of Vice President of Site Operations in 2007.

With Pfizer’s acquisition of Wyeth in 2009, Mike became leader of the Consumer Healthcare Operating Unit and then was named Vice President of the Biotechnology Unit in 2012.  In 2014, Mike became Vice President of Global Supply Chain, overseeing internal and external supply as well as distribution.  He was named President of PGS in 2018 and assumed his current role in January 2022.

A passionate advocate for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Mike served on the Board of People to People, a non-profit organization that helps under-served people, for 10 years, and has enacted impactful changes to increase diversity within PGS.  Mike, his wife Katie and their five daughters, of whom Mike is incredibly proud, are all committed to community engagement and social action.

Mike has Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Industrial Engineering from the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) in Newark, New Jersey.  He has been an adjunct professor at NJIT and was named a distinguished alumnus.  Mike serves on the Executive Committee of the National Association of Manufacturers and is a member of the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Forum as well.