(Reuters) – Merck & Co said on Wednesday Chief Executive Officer Rob Davis would succeed Chairman Ken Frazier, taking on the additional role effective Dec. 1.
Frazier, who has been a key growth driver of the drugmaker for decades, joined Merck around 30 years ago and became the first Black CEO of a major drug company in 2011.
He has steered the company through the daunting litigation tied to withdrawn painkiller Vioxx, and also played a key role in Merck’s 2009 acquisition of U.S. drugmaker Schering-Plough, picking up what would become the company’s top-selling drug, Keytruda.
Frazier made headlines in 2017 when he became the first business leader to leave former U.S. President Donald Trump’s manufacturing council following Trump’s comments on a white nationalist rally held in Charlottesville, Virginia.
(Reporting by Khushi Mandowara and Michael Erman in New Jersey; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)