Merck KGaA names Belén Garijo to head Serono division

Merck KGaA announced Thursday that Belén Garijo, the current chief operating officer of the company's Serono division, has been appointed as CEO of the unit effective October 1.The company noted that Garijo, who joined Merck Serono in 2011, will succeed Stefan Oschmann, who will focus on his role as head of pharmaceuticals in charge of Merck Serono and consumer health, as well as the Allergopharma and biosimilars units.

In addition, Merck said that Annalisa Jenkins, the current head of global development and medical, has been appointed head of global R&D for Merck Serono. Meanwhile, Thierry Hulot, who currently leads Merck's biosimilars unit, was selected as the drugmaker's head of global manufacturing and supply , replacing Jim Stewart, who was recently named chief information officer of Merck. According to the company, Bernhard Kirschbaum, who led early-stage development, will leave Merck on October 1. The drugmaker added that all global functions within Merck Serono will report to Garijo.

"I'm absolutely convinced that with today's management and organisational changes we will be able to fully leverage the growth potential in our pharmaceutical businesses by focusing on fast-growing areas such as the emerging markets and the global allergy market or the rapidly evolving biosimilars market," remarked Oschmann.

Merck's Serono unit reported sales of 6.4 billion euros ($8.6 billion) in 2012, representing about 60 percent of the company's total revenue.

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