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Kenneth C. Frazier to retire as Merck CEO

Christian Fernsby |
Kenilworth, N.J., USA - Merck, known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, announced that Kenneth C. Frazier, chairman and chief executive officer, will retire as CEO, effective June 30, 2021.

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Kenneth C. Frazier will continue to serve on Merck’s board of directors as executive chairman, for a transition period to be determined by the board.

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

He was appointed as vice president of public affairs in 1994, and then in 1997 he assumed the additional responsibilities of assistant general counsel, corporate staff.

Mr. Frazier was promoted to vice president and deputy general counsel in January 1999. In December 1999, he became senior vice president and general counsel.

In November 2006, he was promoted to executive vice president and general counsel.

Mr. Frazier served as executive vice president and president, Global Human Health, from 2007 to 2010.

He was named president of Merck in May 2010.

Mr. Frazier became Merck’s chief executive officer and a member of its board in January 2011.

He became chairman of the board on December 1, 2011.

He sits on the boards of PhRMA, Weill Cornell Medicine, Exxon Mobil Corporation, Catalyst and Cornerstone Christian Academy in Philadelphia, PA.

He is co-founder and co-chair of OneTen, a coalition of leading organizations committed to upskilling, hiring, and promoting one million Black Americans into family-sustaining jobs.

Mr. Frazier also is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, The Business Council, the Council of the American Law Institute, and the American Bar Association.

Additionally, he is co-chair of the Legal Services Corporation’s Leaders Council.

The Merck board of directors has unanimously elected Robert M. Davis, Merck’s current executive vice president, global services and chief financial officer, as chief executive officer, as well as a member of the board, effective July 1, 2021.

Mr. Davis will become president of Merck, effective April 1, 2021.

Prior to joining Merck, Mr. Davis was corporate vice president and president of Baxter’s Medical Products business.

Before that, he served as corporate vice president and president of Baxter’s Renal business, as corporate vice president and chief financial officer from May 2006 through May 2010, and as treasurer from 2004 through May 2006.

Mr. Davis previously spent more than 14 years at Eli Lilly and Company.

Mr. Davis serves on the board of directors of Duke Energy Corporation and is a member of its compensation and finance committees.


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