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Merck’s CEO Kenneth Frazier to retire after ten years in the role

Frazier is handing the reins over to current Merck CFO Robert Davis

Merck & Co’s chief executive officer (CEO) Kenneth Frazier (pictured left) is set to retire, ten years after taking the helm at the pharma giant.

Frazier joined Merck in 1992 as vice president, general counsel and secretary of the Astra Merck group.

Since then, he has advanced in the company, holding increasingly senior roles across the organisation, ultimately being appointed president of Merck in May 2010.

In January 2011, he took on the role of CEO and also became chairman of the board in December of that year.

Under his leadership, Merck has seen impressive growth for its immunotherapy blockbuster Keytruda (pembrolizumab) and other innovative treatments.

Frazier is a strong advocate for social and economic inclusion, having received numerous awards and honours including the Anti-Defamation League Courage Against Hate Award, the Botwinick Prize in Business Ethics from Columbia Business School and more.

He was named one of the World’s Greatest Leaders by Fortune Magazine in 2019, and also became the first recipient of the Forbes Lifetime Achievement Award for Healthcare in 2019.

Frazier is handing over the CEO reins to Robert Davis, who is currently chief financial officer (CFO) at Merck.

Prior to Merck, Davis (pictured right) was corporate vice president and president of Baxter’s Medical Products business.

He joined Merck in 2014 as CFO, with his role being further expanded in 2016 to include the company’s global support functions.

This encompassed corporate business development, investor relations, information technology, procurement, real estate operations and corporate strategy.

After retiring as CEO, Frazier will continue to serve on Merck’s board of directors as executive chairman.

“It has been a privilege to serve as Merck’s CEO for the past decade and to work with the most dedicated and talented employees and management team in the industry,” said Frazier.

“As executive chairman, I look forward to collaborating with Rob [Davis] and our board of directors to help Merck achieve even higher levels of success,” he added.

Article by
Lucy Parsons

5th February 2021

From: Research

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