Next up: A quick look at Merck’s new CEO, Robert Davis

Robert Davis was named Thursday to succeed Ken Frazier as CEO of Merck, the global pharmaceutical giant headquartered in Kenilworth.

Davis, who currently serves as the company’s chief financial officer, will become Merck’s president April 1 and assume the role of CEO on July 1.

Davis comes with high praise from Frazier.

“Rob has been instrumental in helping Merck take the right actions to adapt to the changing health care environment, while remaining committed to investing in the scientific innovation that we expect will drive our future growth,” Frazier said.

Here’s what we know about Davis:

  • His current title is executive vice president, global services and chief financial officer;
  • He has responsibility for the company’s corporate strategy and business development, and for finance, information technology, procurement and real estate operations;
  • He joined the company as CFO in 2014 and was named to his expanded role in 2016;
  • Prior to joining Merck, he worked for Baxter International Inc. in Deerfield, Illinois, where he served as corporate vice president and president of medical products. He held several other positions during his tenure at Baxter from 2004-2014, including president of its renal business, chief financial officer and treasurer;
  • Before joining Baxter in 2004, he worked at Eli Lilly & Co. in Indianapolis, where he held numerous positions of increasing responsibility over 14 years;
  • He serves on the board of directors for Duke Energy Corp. in Charlotte, North Carolina, and is a member of its audit, compensation and finance committees;
  • He is a board member of Project Hope, a nonprofit organization in Bethesda, Maryland, that is focused on empowering health care workers to deliver expert care when and where it’s needed most;
  • He earned a bachelor’s degree in finance from Miami University, a J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law and an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management.