FDAnews Drug Daily Bulletin

CHAIRMAN OF MERCK KGAA STEPS DOWN

Dec. 2, 2005
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Bernard Scheuble has stepped down as chief executive of German drugmaker Merck KGaA, effective immediately, the company announced recently. Vice Chairman Michael Roemer was named to replace Scheuble as chairman of the executive board.

Merck KGaA didn't provide a reason for Scheuble's departure, saying only that his resignation was with "mutual agreement." However financial analysts speculated that Scheuble may have had a falling out with the family that owns roughly three quarters of the company.

"Given the suddenness of his departure, we would surmise that Dr. Scheuble had a falling-out with the Merck family," financial services firm Nomura stated in a research note. "This is unlikely to have been over the current performance of the company, which is good, so we assume that the root cause was a disagreement over Merck's future strategy."

New chief executive Roemer has been with Merck KGaA for 27 years, including the last 12 years as a member of the executive board.