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Gilmartin to leave troubled Merck

Published on 06/05/05 at 12:54pm

Raymond Gilmartin has stood down as chief executive and chairman of Merck, drawing a line under long-running uncertainty regarding the 64-year-old's future.

Gilmartin has stepped down early as head of the company, still beleaguered in the wake of the withdrawal of Vioxx last year because of serious side-effects.

Merck has appointed a company insider, Richard T Clark, as his successor, who will take over with immediate effect.

The company's board had been actively seeking a replacement for Gilmartin, who had been expected to retire in March of next year.

Gilmartin, who has served as Merck's chief executive, president and chief executive since 1994, will continue as an adviser to the Board's Executive Committee.

His replacement, Clark, 59, previously served as president of Merck's manufacturing division as well as chief executive officer of  Medco Health Solutions.

Merck will replace the chairman of the board role with an interim executive committee of three directors: Lawrence Bossidy, William Bowen and Samuel Their.

The committee will provide guidance over the next two years before Clark takes over as chairman.

Merck's earnings have remained stagnant for the past four years and the company is facing a string of lawsuits after the controversial withdrawal of its Cox-II inhibitor Vioxx.

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