Merck (NYSE: MRK), known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, today announced the appointment of Michael J. Holston as chief ethics and compliance officer effective June 25, 2012. He will succeed Richard S. Bowles, who has decided to retire from the company after more than 35 years with Merck and the former Schering-Plough. In his new role, Holston, 49, will report directly to Kenneth C. Frazier, Merck’s chairman and chief executive officer, and will serve on the company’s Executive Committee. He will be responsible for driving high ethical standards and compliance across the company's business globally.
“Ethical business practices and good corporate governance are important to us and our stakeholders, and we are committed to adhering to the laws and regulations governing our activities worldwide," said Frazier. "We are delighted to welcome Mike as our new chief ethics and compliance officer. His extensive experience managing compliance with healthcare laws across international businesses and his background with Merck and our industry make Mike a terrific leader for our ethics and compliance organization and a member of our Executive Committee.
"I also want to thank Rick Bowles for nearly four decades of dedicated service to Merck and Schering-Plough. His strong leadership established the global compliance organization for the combined new company following the merger with Schering-Plough. He developed the right structure, capabilities and leadership for the function, creating a solid base upon which Mike can continue to build a world class ethics and compliance organization going forward."
Holston most recently served as executive vice president and general counsel for Hewlett-Packard Company, where he oversaw compliance, government affairs, privacy, ethics operations and legal affairs. Prior to his role with Hewlett-Packard, Holston was a partner in the litigation practice at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, where he served as external counsel to Merck on matters such as product litigation, government investigations and compliance with healthcare laws and regulations. Before joining Morgan Lewis, he served as a prosecutor in the criminal division of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
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