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The ultimate career path: CLO to CEO (and Merck just announced one)

Merck’s former general counsel, Kenneth Frazier, will take over as CEO in 2011 reports the NY Times, Dec. 1, 2010, at B5. Frazier had actually moved out of the law department and served for the past couple of years as president of the company’s global human health unit. The article adds later that in 2006 Pfizer named its general counsel, Jeffrey Kindler, as chief executive and that a year later Roche announced that Severin Schwan, holder of a law degree from the University of Innsbruck, would take over as CEO in 2008.

Many other examples exist of general counsel who rose to the top spot (See my post of March 9, 2009: Michael Critelli of Pitney-Bowes; May 26, 2007: GCs report to former GC with 10 references; and March 24, 2007: promoted general counsel with 8 references).

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