Sunday, January 18, 2015

Come Mid-2015, Two High Ranking HP Alums Will Handle All Legal & Compliance Matters -- At Whitehouse Station/Kenilworth

In my estimation, given their completely transparent, courageous and ethical decisions during the aftermath of a board room wire-tapping and surveillance scandal at HP circa 2006, both Ms. Watson (a University of Georgia high honors law grad), and Mr. Holston (background on his arrival, there) are excellent new Merck legal point people.

The orderly GC succession has been in the works since Mr. Holston arrived in 2012 -- but was made formal in June of last year. None of this takes effect until later in the year 2015. Ms. Watson won't officially arrive until April 1, and the transitions are effective mid-year 2015 -- but Merck will clearly benefit from the world class bench here. A blogger for/at the WSJ broke the story, and it seems it was a bit of a scoop. All good:

. . . .Ashley Watson is joining Merck Inc. as chief ethics and compliance officer on April 1, the pharmaceutical company said, and has left her similar role at Hewlett-Packard Co.

Ms. Watson is replacing Michael Holston, who on July 1 is moving into the role of general counsel being vacated by Bruce Kuhlik, who is retiring. . . .

In her role, Ms. Watson will report directly to Chairman and Chief Executive Kenneth Frazier, the spokeswoman said. . . .

This is excellent and orderly "next gen" leadership transition planning by Merck -- which by mid year ought to have moved most of its executive functions to the legacy Schering-Plough HQ in Kenilworth (thus the slash in the headline). As we reported previously, Holston was one of Merck's outside lawyers, during Ken Frazier's 2004 tour of duty as GC during the Vioxx® matters. Off now -- to enjoy a quiet science-filled reading day. . . smile!


Anonymous said...

The Whitehouse Station main building was vacated as of the end of 2014. All personnel based there have moved to other sites.

Condor said...

This is great info.

I'll add it above (in the facilities commentary on Union, NJ).

Thank you!