Merck & Co.’s Chairman and CEO To Continue Past 2019

Merck & Co. announced that Kenneth C. Frazier, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, has agreed to remain in his position beyond December 2019, when he turns 65. The company’s Board of Directors rescinded its policy subjecting the company’s CEO to mandatory retirement at age 65 to allow Frazier to continue.

“CEO succession has been our top priority, and removing the mandatory retirement policy enables the Board to make the best decision concerning the timing of that transition,” said Leslie A. Brun, lead director, speaking on behalf of Merck’s Board of Directors, in a September 26, 2018 statement.  “Ken’s unwavering dedication over the years to Merck’s mission of delivering innovative medicines and vaccines has helped drive value for shareholders and patients. We look forward to Ken’s continuing leadership and the impact it will have.”

Frazier has been CEO of Merck & Co. since 2011. In 2017, the company posted revenues of $40.1 billion, up 1% from 2016. Key product sales in 2017 were: Keytruda (pembrolizumab), the company’s immune-oncology drug with 2017 sales of $3.8 billion and the company’s top-selling drug; its anti-diabetes drugs Januvia (sitagliptin), which had 2017 sales of $3.74 billion, and Janumet (sitagliptin and metformin) a  fixed-dose combination with 2017 sales of $2.16 billion; Gardasil/Gardasil (human papillomavirus 9-valent vaccine, recombinant), a vaccine for cervical cancer with 2017 sales of $2.31 billion; ProQuad/M-M-R II /Varivax, a measles, mumps, and rubella virus vaccine with 2017 sales of $1.68 billion; and Zepatier (elbasvir/grazoprevir), a drug for treating hepatitis C with 2017 sales of $1.66 billion.

Previously, Frazier served as President of Merck & Co. with responsibility for the company’s three major divisions: Global Human Health, its sales and marketing division for pharmaceutical and vaccine products; Merck Manufacturing Division, its manufacturing and supply division; and Merck Research Laboratories, its research organization. Frazier has held a range of senior management positions since joining Merck in 1992.

Source: Merck & Co.

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