Merck Appoints Richard R. DeLuca Jr. as President, Merck Animal Health

(15.09.2011) Merck, known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, announced the appointment of Richard R. DeLuca Jr. as executive vice president and president, Merck Animal Health, effective September 15, 2011.

DeLuca, 48, will report to Kenneth C. Frazier, Merck’s president and chief executive officer, and will serve on the company’s Executive Committee.  He will succeed Raul Kohan, who has decided to retire from the company.  Kohan will remain with the company until the end of the year, reporting to Frazier, to ensure a smooth transition.

As leader of Merck Animal Health, DeLuca will leverage the division's strong product portfolio and customer focus to capitalize on new growth opportunities, including expanding the business in emerging markets. 

The unit offers veterinarians, farmers, pet owners and governments a broad range of veterinary pharmaceuticals, vaccines and health management solutions and services in more than 50 countries, while its products are available in some 150 markets.

“Merck Animal Health, one of the largest and most profitable animal health businesses in the world, is an integral part of Merck.  We believe the business is well positioned in a number of fast-growing segments within the global animal health market," said Frazier. 

"We are delighted to welcome Rick DeLuca as the new leader of our Animal Health division, with his experience leading and growing international animal health businesses.  While Merck Animal Health already has a considerable presence around the world, further global expansion of the business represents a significant long-term growth opportunity for us. 

"I also want to thank Raul for his steady leadership in bringing together Intervet and Schering-Plough Animal Health and maintaining the unit's strong performance through the merger and integration of Merck and Schering-Plough to create a highly competitive and valuable animal health franchise," Frazier added. 

"Raul's contributions to this important part of our business and his development of an experienced senior leadership team, created a firm foundation upon which Rick can build going forward.  We appreciate Raul's dedication to ensuring a smooth leadership transition in the coming months before he retires from Merck."

“This is a wonderful time to join Merck, with its commitment to growing its animal health business,” said DeLuca.  “I look forward to working with the talented managers and employees in ensuring that the division is a best-in-class global animal health leader."

DeLuca served as chief financial officer of BD Biosciences since 2010.  Prior to that, he was president of Wyeth's Fort Dodge Animal Health division since 2007.  While at Wyeth, DeLuca led a global team across all functions of the business unit with worldwide revenues of over billion.

Prior to leading the Fort Dodge Animal Health division, DeLuca was chief operating officer of Fort Dodge from 2006 to 2007, where he oversaw all sales and marketing activities and implemented growth strategies internationally. 

He also served as the division's executive vice president and chief financial officer from 2002 to 2006, where he was responsible for all finance and administration, information systems and product supply planning and logistics activities. 

Prior to that, DeLuca held a variety of managerial roles at Wyeth and elsewhere since 1982.

DeLuca received his bachelor's degree in business administration from Widener University in Chester, Pennsylvania.

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