Merck CEO Ken Frazier leaves his post

  • Push-out Score determined
  • After almost 11 years in the position
  • Praise and thanks for Frazier
  • Rob Davis taking over
  • Frazier will remain as executive chairman at Merck
  • Frazier made a lengthy statement and said 235 words

(exechange) — Kenilworth, New Jersey, February 4, 2021 — Ken Frazier, chief executive of Merck, leaves his position. As announced by Merck & Co. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Thursday, February 4, 2021, Kenneth C. (Ken) Frazier leaves his post as chief executive officer of the pharmaceutical company after almost 11 years in the role, effective June 30, 2021.

Ken Frazier’s duties as CEO will be taken over by Robert M. (Rob) Davis, currently executive vice president, global services and chief financial officer of Merck & Co.

“Planned retirement”

Ken Frazier’s departure from the CEO post is explained as follows. Les Brun, Merck’s lead independent director, said: “Ken’s belief in the importance of a strong, values-based culture, and his ability to attract and retain the best talent, will stand as an enduring testament to his concern and care for the people whose skill and commitment will be critical to Merck’s continued success.  These characteristics and accomplishments, coupled with his principled stances on broader public issues, especially those involving intolerance and injustice, make his planned retirement felt so personally by every member of the board.”

Frazier will remain as executive chairman at Merck

“Mr. Frazier will continue to serve on Merck’s board of directors as executive chairman, for a transition period to be determined by the board,” Merck said.


Merck said: “Kenneth C. Frazier, chairman and chief executive officer, will retire as CEO, effective June 30, 2021.”

Share price increase since January 2011

The announcement follows an increase in Merck & Co.’s share price of 115% since January 2011. January 2011 is the month in which Frazier’s tenure as CEO began.

In the position of CEO since 2011

Ken Frazier became CEO of the Company in 2011.

Frazier joined Merck in 1992 as vice president, general counsel and secretary of the Astra Merck group.

He was appointed as vice president of public affairs in 1994, and then in 1997 he assumed the additional responsibilities of assistant general counsel, corporate staff.

Frazier was promoted to vice president and deputy general counsel in January 1999.

In December 1999, he became senior vice president and general counsel.

In November 2006, he was promoted to executive vice president and general counsel. Frazier served as executive vice president and president, Global Human Health, from 2007 to 2010.

He was named president of Merck in May 2010.

Frazier became Merck’s chief executive officer and a member of its board in January 2011. He became chairman of the board on December 1, 2011.

He sits on the boards of PhRMA, Weill Cornell Medicine, Exxon Mobil Corporation, Catalyst and Cornerstone Christian Academy in Philadelphia, PA.

He is co-founder and co-chair of OneTen, a coalition of leading organizations committed to upskilling, hiring, and promoting one million Black Americans into family-sustaining jobs.

Frazier also is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, The Business Council, the Council of the American Law Institute, and the American Bar Association.

Additionally, Frazier is co-chair of the Legal Services Corporation’s Leaders Council.

As a strong advocate for social justice and economic inclusion, Frazier is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the Anti-Defamation League Courage Against Hate Award, the Botwinick Prize in Business Ethics from Columbia Business School, the Legend in Leadership Award from the Yale School of Management, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund National Equal Justice Award, and the National Minority Quality Forum’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

In 2018, Frazier was named one of the World’s Greatest Leaders by Fortune Magazine and also was named to the Time 100 Most Influential People.

In 2019, he became the first recipient of the Forbes Lifetime Achievement Award for Healthcare.

Frazier received his bachelor’s degree from The Pennsylvania State University and holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School.

Push-out Score determined

The Push-out Score™ determined by exechange gauges the pressure surrounding Ken Frazier’s move on a scale of 0 to 10.

exechange reached out to Merck and offered the company the opportunity to comment on the score.

Read the full story in the exechange report 6.2021 ($).