Merck & Co.'s Chairman and CEO to Retire; New CEO Named

By Miranda Greenberg -

February 4, 2021

Merck & Co. has announced that Kenneth C. Frazier, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), will retire as CEO, effective June 30, 2021. Robert M. Davis, Merck’s current Executive Vice President, Global Services, and Chief Financial Officer, has been named as CEO, effective July 1, 2021

Mr. Frazier will continue to serve on Merck’s Board of Directors as Executive Chairman for a transition period to be determined by the Board. The Merck Board of Directors unanimously elected Mr. Davis, as CEO as well as a member of the Board, effective July 1, 2021. Mr. Davis will become President of Merck, effective April 1, 2021, at which time the company’s operating divisions—Human Health, Animal Health, Manufacturing, and Merck Research Laboratories—will begin reporting to him.

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 CEO and a Member of its Board in January 2011. He became Chairman of the Board on December 1, 2011.

Mr. Davis joined Merck as Chief Financial Officer in 2014. In 2016, his role was expanded to include the company’s global support functions, which encompass corporate business development, investor relations, information technology, procurement, real estate operations, and corporate strategy.

Prior to joining Merck, Mr. Davis was Corporate Vice President and President of Baxter’s Medical Products business, where he oversaw the integration of that company’s Global Medication Delivery and Renal businesses into a single organization. Before that, Mr. Davis 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.

Source: Merck & Co.