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.
“I'm excited to be joining Merck at this important period of change for the company and the pharmaceutical industry,” said Holston. “I look forward to working with dedicated and talented people across the company, helping to champion Merck's high ethical and compliance standards so the company can focus on what it does best – discovering and developing innovative new medicines and vaccines."Holston received his J.D. from Villanova University School of Law, Villanova, Penn. and a B.S.M.E. from the University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana. He also is a fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers. About Merck Today's Merck is a global healthcare leader working to help the world be well. Merck is known as MSD outside the United States and Canada. Through our prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, and consumer care and animal health products, we work with customers and operate in more than 140 countries to deliver innovative health solutions. We also demonstrate our commitment to increasing access to healthcare through far-reaching policies, programs and partnerships. For more information, visit www.merck.com and connect with us on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. Forward-Looking Statement This news release includes “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements may include, but are not limited to, statements about the benefits of the merger between Merck and Schering-Plough, including future financial and operating results, the combined company’s plans, objectives, expectations and intentions and other statements that are not historical facts. Such statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of Merck’s management and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ from those set forth in the forward-looking statements. The following factors, among others, could cause actual results to differ from those set forth in the forward-looking statements: the possibility that all of the expected synergies from the merger of Merck and Schering-Plough will not be realized, or will not be realized within the expected time period; the impact of pharmaceutical industry regulation and health care legislation in the United States and internationally; Merck’s ability to accurately predict future market conditions; dependence on the effectiveness of Merck’s patents and other protections for innovative products; and the exposure to litigation and/or regulatory actions.
Merck undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Additional factors that could cause results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements can be found in Merck’s 2011 Annual Report on Form 10-K and the company’s other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) available at the SEC’s Internet site ( www.sec.gov).