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Merck exec steps down, two takes his place

Head of global human health Adam Schechter will transition to CEO advisor

Merck & Co is set to shake up its executive leadership team after the drugmaker announced its head of global human health, Adam Schechter is to step down from his role at the end of this month.


Adam Schechter

The most notable success is of course immuno-oncology therapy Keytruda, which looks set to hit revenues of around $7bn for 2018, thanks to its dominance in new cancer drug class.

Schechter is not entirely leaving the company, however, as he takes up an advisory position to Merck’s chief exec Ken Frazier, who is set to remain as CEO beyond 2019 after the company scrapped a policy requiring its CEOs to retire at the age of 65.

Frazier says he has relied on Schechter’s expertise for the past nine years, crediting the global human health lead with Merck’s commercial evolution, expanding its medicines and vaccines reach to more than 140 countries.


Ken Frazier, CEO, Merck

Frazier adds: “Adam’s leadership and unwavering dedication to finding new ways to bring Merck’s medicines and vaccines to more patients around the world have been hallmarks of his time at Merck.

“Because of him we are better positioned to address future opportunities and challenges as a global biopharmaceutical company.”

Schechter initially joined the company back in 1988, and also played a key role in the Merck and Schering-Plough $41bn merger in 2009.

The company has revealed the Schechter's role will be split into two executive positions, and from 1 Jan, Merck’s president of the global oncology business, Frank Clyburn, will take up one of the two roles.


Frank Clyburn

Clyburn’s official title will be chief commercial officer and he will be responsible for all operations across Merck’s human health commercial portfolio.

Taking up the other half of the role is Michael Nally, the company’s vaccines lead.

He becomes the chief marketing officer; a newly created role responsible for global marketing and long-term franchise strategy across Merck’s portfolio.

Nally has been with Merck for the past 15 years, serving in a number of roles including managing director, UK, Ireland and Sweden. He has also held a variety of roles in commercial operations, business develop and investor relations.

Article by
Gemma Jones

12th December 2018

From: Sales



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