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Merck names new CEO and rebrands under one name

New logo and appointment of Stefan Oschmann from next year

Germany's Merck KGaA has confirmed that deputy chief executive Stefan Oschmann will take the helm of the group when current CEO Karl-Ludwig Kley retires next year after nine years in the role.

The announcement comes as Merck has also unveiled a re-branding of the group - with a new logo and its Merck Serono and Merck Millipore divisions now known simply as Merck in all markets outside the US and Canada. 

The new identity reflects its "transformation into a science and technology company," said Merck, which will continue to operate as EMD in North America where the Merck name is held by US corporation Merck & Co.

Merck's board agreed yesterday that Oschmann will take the top job at the end of the group's annual general meeting on April 29, 2016. The appointment of the former pharma division head to the position comes as no surprise - he was appointed deputy chairman and CEO at Merck earlier this year.

"Under the leadership of Karl-Ludwig Kley, Merck has gone through the biggest transformation in its almost 350-year history," said Johannes Baillou, chairman of E. Merck KG, Merck's parent company.

"This entailed building and expanding no fewer than three strong global businesses that are able to provide ground-breaking solutions for patients and customers and secure growth and affluence for our 40.000 employees," he added.

Over the last decade, Merck has developed from "a classic supplier of pharmaceuticals and chemicals into a global technology company …with [a] unique combination of highly specialised biopharmaceutical, life science and materials businesses," said Kley, who noted that the re-branding is part of the company's 'Fit for 2018' modernisation strategy.

Since 2005, Merck's revenues have almost doubled from €5.9bn to €11.3bn, annual R&D investments increased from €700m to €1.7bn, its global presence has expanded from 54 country offices to 66 and the number of employees has increased from 29,000 to 40,000.

Turning to the succession, Baillou said Oschmann's "strategic foresight and strong leadership have turned Merck into a respected player in the pharma industry once again."

"We're convinced that he will take the right steps to position Merck in a way that will allow the company to continue to actively shape an environment that has been experiencing fundamental scientific and digital changes."

Oschmann was elected president of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) last November and is also vice president of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA).

Article by
Phil Taylor

14th October 2015

From: Marketing



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