Merck looking for a new CFO
Merck & Co., Inc. announced today that Judy C. Lewent, its Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, intends to retire in July. Ms. Lewent, 58, has been CFO for 17 years.
“Judy is a world-class CFO,” said Richard T. Clark, Chief Executive Officer and President. “Her business and financial acumen, keen strategic thinking and analytical skills have made her an invaluable advisor and colleague. I speak personally and also for investors and employees when I state that she will be greatly missed.”
Joining the Company in 1980, Ms. Lewent was rapidly promoted to a series of increasing responsibilities, including Vice President and Treasurer in 1987 and Vice President for Finance and Chief Financial Officer in 1990. Leveraging her extensive knowledge of corporate finance and equally deep appreciation for Merck’s mission and business, Ms. Lewent developed highly innovative models and techniques for evaluating Merck’s R&D investment and resulting pipeline. On a related front, her pioneering work on the economics of the research-based pharmaceutical industry has aided understanding within the policy community of the vital link between R&D investment and innovation. An investment banker by training, Ms. Lewent also played a leading role in the resurgence of Merck’s corporate development and licensing functions. Over the years, she led the negotiation, structuring and execution of several key alliances and acquisitions and also chaired the governing boards of several of Merck’s joint ventures. Most recently, Ms. Lewent was a major contributor to the Company’s recently unveiled corporate strategy, Merck’s Plan to Win.
“My time at Merck has been enormously gratifying,” Ms. Lewent said. “We have maintained our financial strength through the inevitable cycles of challenge and success that characterize the pharmaceutical industry. We have never wavered in our fundamental mission as a Company, but we continue adapting our business model in order to enhance our ability to successfully execute in a rapidly changing environment. I am proud of the highly innovative medicines and vaccines that we have brought to people around the world, and I am proud to have played a role in helping to position the Company for long-term growth. I am equally proud of the finance organization that I helped to recruit and build. These highly talented and dedicated professionals are superb business partners and stewards of the Company’s assets.”
The Company will begin a search for Ms. Lewent’s replacement and will consider both internal and external candidates. “Judy has generously given us a good amount of time to achieve an orderly transition, and I am confident that we will do so,” Mr. Clark added.