FRAZIER PROMOTED TO MERCK CHIEF

MERCK president Kenneth Frazier, whose legal strategy helped solve the drugmaker’s Vioxx crisis, will succeed Richard Clark as chief executive officer, it was announced yesterday. Frazier, 55, made his name at Merck as general counsel by steering the company safely through daunting litigation over Vioxx, its widely used painkiller that was withdrawn in 2004 after being linked to heart attacks. More recently, Frazier played a significant role in Merck’s $41bn acquisition last year of drugmaker Schering-Plough.