Merck CEO Stepping Down Effective June 30, 2021

Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier will be stepping down from his position, poised to become the executive chairman at the end of June 2021.

Frazier joined Merck in 1992 as one of their vice presidents, becoming the CEO of the company in 2011. Frazier will be succeeded in his role by Robert M. Davis, who will also become the company’s president on April 1st of this year. 

During Frazier’s tenure, Merck saw significant financial gain, and introduced Keytruda, a cancer drug that accounted for one third of Merck’s pharmaceutical revenue for 2020. Despite this, Merck lost its COVID-19 vaccine candidate status after lackluster results from their clinical trials.

Merck’s CEO often clashed with President Trump on policy, and even left Trump’s manufacturing jobs council after the president’s response to racially charged protests in Charlottesville in 2017.

Frazier is one of only a few black CEOs for major multinational corporations, being one of only five black CEOs in the S&P 100 according to a 2020 study. 

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