OREANDA-NEWS. In its meeting today, the Board of Partners of E. Merck KG appointed Stefan Oschmann (58) as new Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of Merck KGaA. The appointment will take effect with the end of the Annual General Meeting on April 29, 2016. Stefan Oschmann will succeed Karl-Ludwig Kley (64) who will retire after then nine years as head of Merck.

Stefan Oschman has been a member of the Executive Board of Merck since 2011. He was initially in charge of the pharma business before being appointed as Deputy Chairman of the Executive Board and Deputy CEO at the beginning of 2015, responsible for strategy and innovation.

"Under the leadership of Karl-Ludwig Kley, Merck has gone through the biggest transformation in its almost 350-year history. This entailed building and expanding no fewer than three strong global businesses that are able to provide ground-breaking solutions for patients and customers and secure growth and affluence for our 40.000 employees," said Johannes Baillou, Chairman of the Board of Partners of E. Merck KG. "We want to express our deep gratitude and respect for his achievements. We're equally happy to have found a successor in Stefan Oschmann early on, whose strategic foresight and strong leadership have turned Merck into a respected player in the pharma industry again. We're convinced that he will take the right steps to position Merck in a way that will allow the company to continue to actively shape an environment that has been experiencing fundamental scientific and digital changes."

From what used to be a company with a diverse portfolio in pharma and chemicals, Merck since 2006 has evolved into a specialized high-tech company in the areas of healthcare, life science and performance materials. Today the company holds leading positions in fertility treatments, process solutions for the biotech industry or liquid crystal displays. Following mergers and acquisitions totaling around 38 billion € as well as organic growth sales will have doubled to more than 12 billion € this year compared with the 2005 level. Two change programs have resulted in a leaner organization capable of driving innovation in an efficient manner.

Prior to joining Merck, Stefan Oschmann worked for more than 20 years for U.S. pharma company MSD Merck Sharp & Dohme. He is president of the IFPMA (International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations) and Vice President of EFPIA(European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations).

Karl-Ludwig Kley had already been a member of the Supervisory Board of Merck KGaA and the Board of Partners of E. Merck KG since 2004. In 2006 he became Deputy Chairman of the Executive Board of Merck before taking over as Chairman in 2007. Prior to that, he was Chief Financial Officer at Deutsche Lufthansa for eight years and joined the airline's supervisory board in 2013. He is Deputy Chairman of the supervisory board of BMW and member of the supervisory board of Bertelsmann. In addition, he is vice president of the German Chemicals Association (VCI) and member of the steering committee of the Federation of German Industries (BDI).