Merck announced that its president of global human health, Peter Loescher, plans to leave the company this summer to become CEO of German electrical engineering firm and electronics manufacturer Siemens.
Austria-born Loescher, whose duties at Merck will end July 1, was hired just last year by the Whitehouse Station, NJ, drugmaker. He announced his resignation on Sunday morning following a meeting of Siemens’ supervisory board in Munich, Germany, where the company named him as its CEO.
Loescher’s responsibilities at Merck included the management of more than 35,000 employees. He was given direct responsibility for Merck’s marketing and sales divisions around the world. He also oversaw marketing for Merck’s increasingly important vaccines business.
Loescher worked for more than 10 years at Germany's Hoechst AG, now part of Sanofi-Aventis, before joining UK medical-diagnostics firm Amersham in 2002. He then joined the corporate executive council of General Electric after the company acquired Amersham in 2004 before joining Merck in May 2006.
Loescher had been viewed as a potential successor to Merck CEO Richard Clark.
Clark said Merck remained committed to the goals of the global human health organization. “We continue to be pleased with the strong business performance across all the global human health franchises and regions, and we are confident that it will continue,” Clark said in a statement.