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Merck unveils post-merger leadership team

Published on 03/09/09 at 10:48am

The make-up of Merck and Schering-Plough's new corporate entity became clearer this week.

Referred to as the 'new Merck' and the result of the $41 billion merger deal signed earlier this year, the combined company will create a new industry giant to challenge Pfizer in terms of its scale and annual sales.

Richard Clark, current boss of Merck, this week outlined the leadership team of the combined company, of which he will be chief executive.

Its five main divisions will focus on growth in developing markets, vaccines and biologics.

"The combined company will draw upon the expertise of the people of both Schering-Plough and Merck," said Clark.

Global human health (GHH), consumer health care, animal health, Merck Research Laboratories (MRL) and Merck Manufacturing are the new divisions and their heads will report directly to Clark.

Of the five senior posts, two are to be filled by current Schering-Plough staff - although one of these is an interim appointment only.

The current chairman of consumer health care at Schering-Plough Stanley Barshay will fill that role. He currently oversees brands such as Claritin, Coppertone and Dr. Scholl's and will remain in post "while the company searches for a permanent leader".

The other ex-Schering-Plough employee is Raul Kohan, who will lead the animal health business.

The GHH division is to be led by Kenneth Frazier, who has a similar role at Merck.


His remit will include the company's prescription, vaccines and biologics businesses and also a newly-created emerging markets group. This will focus on China, Asia Pacific, Latin America and Middle East/Africa/Eastern Europe, including Russia and Turkey.

Peter Kim, currently MRL president, will have the same role in the combined company. MRL's core functions will be discovery and pre-clinical development, and clinical development and regulatory affairs.

He will be joined by four senior managers from the Schering-Plough Research Institute, who will hold preclinical, clinical and licensing roles in the new MRL.

The division will have a new central franchise structure focused on portfolio management and linked to the GHH division and research will major on emerging markets, vaccines and biologics.

Meanwhile, Merck Manufacturing's head Willie Deese will remain in post although his division will now include units for consumer and animal health, along with greater technological facilities for vaccines and biologics.

The company also will create new franchises focused on women's health and endocrine, and mature brands.

"Collectively, the new leadership team has decades of industry experience and proven management track records," says Clark.

"To complement our joint talent, we will be adding leaders from outside the two companies with specific experience in key areas."

The merger is expected to close by the end of this year.

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