Rebecca Poehnelt takes over as interim Managing Director of MSD Switzerland

Lucerne, May 11, 2020 – MSD (Merck Sharp & Dohme AG) Switzerland has appointed Rebecca Poehnelt, Ph.D. as Managing Director ad interim taking over from Dr. Thomas Lang who leaves the company to join Novartis Pharma in Germany.

Rebecca Poehnelt first joined the Swiss operations in 2018 as Business Unit Head Oncology. Before that, she had an extensive career in the US, where MSD operates as Merck & Co., with nearly 15 years in leading roles, most recently in Business Development and as Chief of Staff for the President of the Human Health division. She officially assumed her additional interim role on May 8 while retaining her role as Business Unit Director for Oncology.

Rebecca Poehnelt says: “I am honored to have been selected to lead the Swiss organization as interim Managing Director and to take over from Thomas Lang in this role.”

Rebecca Poehnelt, Ph.D., Director Business Unit Oncology & Managing Director ad interim, MSD Switzerland

Under Thomas Lang’s leadership, MSD Switzerland has grown to a company with about 1000 employees, fostering a culture of diversity and inclusion, driving forward digitization and innovation. As a team, MSD Switzerland was able to strengthen its leading position in oncology and vaccines and its portfolio of established brands. The company has outstanding employees and a forward-looking strategy.

The Leadership Team thanks Dr. Thomas Lang for his commitment and wishes him all the best for his future endeavors.

About MSD in Switzerland

1.000 employees are working in local and regional functions across four different sites in the Canton of Lucerne, Switzerland. The Human Medicine division is active in the areas of prescription drugs and biopharmaceuticals for therapies including oncology, with focus on immune- and targeted therapies, vaccines for children, young people, and adults, infectious diseases (including fungal infections, antibiotic resistance, HIV/Aids, and hepatitis C), diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, immunology and women’s health.

MSD has one of the largest clinical research programs worldwide. In Schachen, drugs for worldwide clinical trials are manufactured and runs a forensic laboratory. MSD plays an active role in its community, supporting the health congress “Trendtage Gesundheit Luzern” and the popular “Swiss City Marathon Lucerne”. In 2020, the company renewed its certification as a “Top Employer Switzerland” for the eighth year in a row.

About MSD

For more than 125 years, MSD has been inventing for life, bringing forward medicines and vaccines for many of the world’s most challenging diseases in pursuit of our mission to save and improve lives. MSD is a trade name of Merck & Co., Inc., with headquarters in Kenilworth, N.J., U.S.A. We demonstrate our commitment to patients and population health by increasing access to health care through far-reaching policies, programs and partnerships. Today, MSD continues to be at the forefront of research to prevent and treat diseases that threaten people and animals – including cancer, infectious diseases such as HIV and Ebola, and emerging animal diseases – as we aspire to be the premier research-intensive biopharmaceutical company in the world.

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Media department MSD Switzerland
media.switzerland@merck.com | Tel. 058 618 30 30
Jean-Blaise Defago (Policy & Communications Director)

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CH-NON-00574, 05/2020