Wednesday, February 5, 2014

So, What ELSE Happened -- At Whitehouse Station -- This Very Afternoon?

Lost in all the blizzard of numbers shoveled during today's year end earnings release (and three new MK-3475 studies/partners news!), is this one more "material item" -- filed just a few hours ago, at the SEC's EDGAR window. Merck is switching horses, mid stream -- swapping out its controller, in the middle of closing out the SEC reporting disclosures, on the year 2013.

To my eye, it looks like a regular retirement, as Mr. Canan is turning 57 this year -- though it seems to be on an oddly short fuse. Seems one would have wanted to close out the SEC 10-K reporting cycle, before taking a retirement trip to Fiji. On the other hand, I guess Merck might then get its Form 10-K on file before March first, as well. We shall see. See the below. Also interesting that the new controller is a legacy Schering-Plough hire -- worked the international/country controller circuit -- for old S-P:

. . . .Resignation of Certain Officers

On February 3, 2014, the Board of Directors (the “Board”) of Merck & Co., Inc. (the “Company”) accepted the resignation of John Canan, Senior Vice President Finance – Global Controller, effective March 1, 2014. Mr. Canan will retire from the Company effective March 1, 2014.

(c) Appointment of Certain Officers

On February 3, 2014, the Board elected Rita A. Karachun as Senior Vice President Finance – Global Controller of the Company, effective March 1, 2014, making her the Company’s principal accounting officer. Ms. Karachun, 50 years old, has served as Assistant Controller of the Company since November 2009. Prior to her appointment as Assistant Controller of the Company, Ms. Karachun served as the Assistant Controller of Schering-Plough Corporation since February 2007 and was responsible for preparing financial statements and for the worldwide consolidation of international entities. There are no transactions concerning Ms. Karachun that would be considered related person transactions.

In connection with Ms. Karachun’s appointment as Senior Vice President Finance – Global Controller, effective March 1, 2014, Ms. Karachun will receive compensation in a manner consistent with the Company’s compensation of its Senior Vice Presidents. . . .

Now you know. Any insider gloss, from any of my anonymous commenters? I'm all ears -- and (as ever!) the comment box is always open.


Anonymous said...

WOW just WOW. John Canan is a 'Merckie' through and through. It's a tremendous loss to the Finance Org for him to go - and so swiftly to boot! He and his key L-MRK direct staff literally kept the company profitable during the depths of the downturn with hedging strategies.

MANY long time finance staff (and others) have felt that some of the recent corporate decisions have been for short term gains at the expense of long term benefits and costs. I do not know if this was Canan's motivation or even thought but it is a pervasive one among many long term L-MRK folks.

Anonymous said...

Or, put another way, the Schmerck finance organization is behaving much more like L-SP as of late and the L-MRK staff are ambivalent, at best, to the chicanery.