WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. — Merck & Co. has named Kenneth Frazier as the pharmaceutical giant’s new president, taking over that post from chairman and chief executive officer Richard Clark.
Merck said Wednesday that Clark will continue as chairman and CEO. Frazier, elected president by the company’s board, will report to Clark.
Succeeding Frazier in his previous post of president of Merck’s Global Human Health worldwide sales and marketing division is Adam Schechter, who currently leads the company’s U.S. pharmaceutical business in the United States.
Frazier will lead Merck’s three largest worldwide divisions responsible for pharmaceutical and vaccine sales and marketing, research and development, and manufacturing and supply. Reporting to Frazier are Schechter; Willie Deese, president of the Merck Manufacturing Division; and Peter Kim, president of Merck Research Laboratories.
"Ken is a proven leader with deep knowledge about our company and the industry who has real passion for Merck’s role in saving and improving lives through scientific innovation," Clark said in a statement. "Merck’s board and I have the utmost confidence in Ken’s ability to help navigate Merck during a time of unprecedented change and enormous opportunity in the global health care industry."
Merck noted that Frazier, with the company since 1992, played a key role in the company’s November 2009 merger with Schering-Plough and led the implementation of key improvements in the efficiency and effectiveness of the company’s worldwide sales and marketing organization. As president of Global Human Health since 2007, he also helped design and implement a ground-breaking commercial sales model in the United States and in key markets in Europe, Latin America and Asia Pacific, while maintaining solid sales momentum during merger integration, dramatically improving the division’s cost structure, and redeploying resources into key emerging markets to take advantage of future growth opportunities, according to the company.
"I am honored to be asked to help our chairman and CEO position Merck for success in the future," commented Frazier. "Under Dick Clark’s leadership, the new Merck has gotten off to a strong start, and I am grateful for the opportunity to work with Dick and my senior management colleagues to help ensure that we continue to meet the needs of patients and build shareholder value."
Schechter, who has been with Merch since 1988, also was elected to his new position of president of the Global Human Health division by Merck’s board.
"Adam’s talent and experience make him the ideal choice to lead our worldwide sales and marketing business for pharmaceutical medicines and vaccines," stated Clark. "He knows the business from the ground up and has a strong record of performance, most recently leading our overall merger integration, and also directing marketing and sales operations and global product franchises for our Global Human Health business. I know we can count on Adam to help Merck deliver against our ambitious goals."