About Robert Davis, the new chair of Merck


As expected, Robert Davis was unanimously elected to serve as chairman of the board of Merck, effective Dec. 1.

Davis, who succeeded Merck’s longtime leader, Ken Frazier, as CEO in July 2021, will now succeed Frazier as chairman of the board.

Thomas Glocer, independent lead director, applauded the elevation of Davis.

“Rob Davis has shown himself to be an innovative leader with a deep understanding of Merck and our industry,” he said. “We look forward to working with him as our new chairman and to his continued contributions.”

Davis said he was honored to succeed Frazier.

“On behalf of Merck management and our colleagues around the world, I want to express our deepest appreciation for Ken’s innumerable contributions and indelible impact on our company and global health,” he saids.

“During his tenure, Ken led with conviction, advocated for patients and created meaningful value for our stakeholders. He has been an exemplar of purpose-driven leadership, vision and courage. I am honored to lead Merck as chairman and chief executive officer as we continue to build on his profound legacy.”

About Davis:

  • Before becoming CEO, Davis served as Merck’s president, responsible for the company’s operating divisions — Human Health, Animal Health, Manufacturing and Merck Research Laboratories. Prior to that, he was executive vice president, global services, and the company’s chief financial officer.
  • Davis joined the company as chief financial officer in 2014 with additional responsibility for real estate operations, corporate strategy and business development. In 2016, his role was expanded to include responsibility for information technology and procurement, forming Global Services. He became president in April 2021 and CEO and a member of the board of directors on July 1, 2021.
  • Prior to joining Merck, Davis was corporate vice president and president of Baxter’s Medical Products business. During his tenure at Baxter, he held several other positions, including president of Baxter’s Renal business, chief financial officer and treasurer. Before joining Baxter in 2004, Davis held numerous positions of increasing responsibility over 14 years at Eli Lilly and Co.
  • Davis serves on the board of directors for Duke Energy Corp. and is chair of its finance and risk management committee and a member of the corporate governance committee. In addition, Davis is a board member of Project Hope, a nonprofit organization focused on empowering health care workers to deliver expert care when and where it is needed most.
  • Davis received his J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law, his MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management and his bachelor’s degree in finance from Miami University.





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