Kenneth Frazier to continue as CEO as MSD rescinds mandatory retirement policy

pharmafile | September 27, 2018 | News story | Business Services, Manufacturing and Production, Medical Communications, Research and Development, Sales and Marketing Kenneth Frazier, MSD, pharma 

MSD has pitched a curveball with the news that the company has rescinded its policy mandating that Chief Executive Officers retire at the age of 65, meaning current CEO Kenneth Frazier, who turns exactly that age late next year, will continue to steer the firm for the foreseeable future.

Frazier joined MSD in 1999 as Chief Counsel, and will celebrate his 20th anniversary with the company next year. He remains one of the best-paid executives in the industry, taking home a compensation package to the value of $17.6 million last year – considerably higher than the paycheck of AstraZeneca’s Pascal Soriot, who was quoted earlier this month as lamenting his status as “the lowest-paid CEO in the whole industry” with a salary in 2017 of $12.3 million.

Aside from his successes guiding MSD, Frazier made headlines in August last year when he stood up to Donald Trump and resigned from the President’s Manufacturing Council over the commander-in-chief’s refusal to acknowledge the fault of white supremacists after a protester was murdered during riots in Virginia. His departure prompted a mass exodus of its members, leading the President to dissolve the council.

Speaking on behalf of MSD’s Board of Directors, Lead Director Leslie A Brun: “CEO succession has been our top priority, and removing the mandatory retirement policy enables the Board to make the best decision concerning the timing of that transition. Ken’s unwavering dedication over the years to Merck’s mission of delivering innovative medicines and vaccines has helped drive value for shareholders and patients. We look forward to Ken’s continuing leadership and the impact it will have.”

Matt Fellows

Related Content


MSD announce new data from advanced renal cell carcinoma trial

Merk (MSD) has announced positive data from its Phase III Clear/Keynote-581 trial on Keytruda (pembrolizumab) …

Pfizer sign

Delayed Pfizer vaccine dose gives 3.5 times more immunity, study shows

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is around three and a half times more effective when dosed …

Amgen flag

AstraZeneca and Amgen asthma drug shows positive results in Phase III trial

AstraZeneca and Amgen’s new tezepelumab drug for the treatment of severe asthma has shown superiority …

Latest content