The Merck board of directors has elected Robert M. Davis to serve as chairman, effective Dec. 1, 2022. He will succeed Kenneth C. Frazier, who plans to retire on Nov. 30, 2022, after a long-tenured career at the pharmaceutical company that began in 1992. Frazier led the company for 10 years as president and CEO, from 2011 through 2021. He has served as a Merck director since January 2011 and chairman of its board of directors since December 2011.
Davis, who currently serves as president and CEO, became Kenilworth-based Merck’s president in April 2021 and was named Merck’s CEO and a member of its board in July 2021.
Speaking on behalf of Merck’s board of directors, Thomas H. Glocer, independent lead director, stated, “I want to thank Ken for his principled leadership, extraordinary integrity, and unwavering commitment to delivering on Merck’s purpose of saving and improving lives around the world.”
“For decades, Ken has embodied Merck’s core principles and values, anchored by a singular focus on creating meaningful value for our patients, employees, communities and shareholders,” Glocer added. “Ken is a once-in-a-generation leader, and his positive impact on our company and patients everywhere will reverberate for decades.”
Glocer continued, “Rob Davis has shown himself to be an innovative leader with a deep understanding of Merck and our industry. We look forward to working with him as our new chairman and to his continued contributions.”
Frazier said, “Merck is powered by the talent, passion and commitment of many thousands of people around the world who are united by a common goal: harnessing the power of science to solve the world’s most pressing health challenges. It has been a distinct pleasure and privilege to be a part of the Merck team, and I will be forever grateful to my Merck colleagues for their dedicated efforts that have led to the company’s many important achievements.”
“I am also grateful to the Merck board of directors for their expertise and support through the years. With Rob Davis as their new chairman, I am confident that the board will continue to help guide the company in a manner that will allow it to succeed competitively and remain committed to its mission,” Frazier added.
“On behalf of Merck management and our colleagues around the world, I want to express our deepest appreciation for Ken’s innumerable contributions and indelible impact on our company and global health,” said Davis. “During his tenure, Ken led with conviction, advocated for patients and created meaningful value for our stakeholders. He has been an exemplar of purpose-driven leadership, vision and courage. I am honored to lead Merck as chairman and chief executive officer as we continue to build on his profound legacy.”
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