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"CEO succession has been our top priority, and removing the mandatory retirement policy enables the Board to make the best decision concerning the timing of that transition," Merck's lead director Leslie Brun said.
Frazier, who turns 65 in December 2019, was named Merck's CEO in 2011. The company's stock price has nearly doubled since then.
Under Frazier, Merck has also seen its cancer immunotherapy Keytruda rake in blockbuster sales and become one of the leading products in a new generation of oncology treatments.