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Kenneth Frazier is stepping down as the CEO of Merck, leaving a giant hole in the fabric of the pharmaceutical industry.

The decision, announced Thursday, has been telegraphed for more than a year, but is still a landmark moment. Frazier, 66, has done more than oversee the reanimation of one the most fabled U.S. drug makers; in recent years, he’s been the heart of the drug industry — a role perhaps epitomized by his decision in 2017 to resign from a White House advisory panel on manufacturing over President Donald Trump’s failure to denounce violence by white nationalist groups in Charlottesville, Va.

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  • “founder George Merck” took over the presidency of E. Merck and Company from his father in 1925. His father moved to the US in 1891 to oversee the NY branch office on Wall Street of his German family business.

  • Fascinating
    I never met Mr Frazier, but most sincerely a great person influenced by a former CEO and giant, Dr Roy Vangelos – a legend – whom I knew very well from Washington University, myself a doctorate student and Dr Vangelos a … celebrated and established scientist and a Model of integrity and ethos. It is not an accident that Mr Frazier himself has become a Model… Merck is lucky having such a great tradition.
    An excellent writing story.

    DR A

  • Hey Matt,

    Ken Did NOT succeed Roy Vagelos.
    immediately. How could you forget about the disastrous Raymond Gilmartin from BD? You have been around long enough in this industry so you should have known better. Please set the record straight and edit your article!

  • I agree with Ed Fotsch and also would like yo suggest that Kdytruda sucess story must be toned down and cut down to size. Where are Merck’s cancer drugs using CAR-T science and technology compared to Novartis and Gilead? Anything promising in the pipeline?

  • As a Merck shareholder and physician I would give Frazier a A for Keytruda, a C for Virtue-signaling and an F on vaccines to wit, it was bad enough that Merck contributed nothing to the Covid Vaccines approved. Worse yet, Frazier threw what turned out to be stunningly silly cold water on the historic and millions of lives-saved successful efforts of Moderna, Pfizer and others. This from July of last year: “Merck CEO Frazier says COVID-19 vaccine hype a ‘grave disservice’ to the public”

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