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Merck & Co chairman Richard Clark retires

Published on: 10/10/11

Richard Clark will step down as chairman of Merck & Co on 1 December after leading the company for six years.

He will be replaced by Kenneth Frazier, who has been appointed to increasingly senior roles at Merck in recent years.

Frazier became president in April 2010, a role that saw him lead the company's three largest divisions, and at the beginning of this year he took over from Clark as chief executive.

Clark served as president and chief executive for five years to 2010 and held the chairman’s role since 2007.

William Harrison, Merck’s lead director, said: "Dick is an outstanding leader whose determination and dedication ensured that Merck is an industry leader with a bright and strong future. Over the course of his impressive tenure at Merck, Dick successfully restored investor confidence at a difficult time and steered our company through numerous challenges.

"Through the strategic plan Dick put in place, Merck experienced strong performance, culminating in the successful merger and integration of Merck and Schering-Plough."

Clark first joined Merck in 1972 as a quality control inspector, and progressed through a series of increasingly senior roles.

After being named chief executive in 2005, Clark stabilised Merck by setting its strategic direction and leading the $49 billion mega-merger between Merck and Schering-Plough in 2009.

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