Merck & Co. said Thursday that it's getting a new director of research and development, Dr. Roger Perlmutter, a former research executive at Merck and at Amgen.
Merck, the world's third-biggest drugmaker by revenue, said Perlmutter will begin running Merck Research Laboratories on April 15.
He'll succeed Peter Kim, 55, who's overseen the labs since 2003. The two will work together initially, then Kim will serve as an adviser until leaving Merck on Aug. 1.
Steven Cragle, a spokesman for the Whitehouse Station, N.J., company, said the moves are part of long-term succession planning by CEO Kenneth C. Frazier and are unrelated to some recent failures of experimental drugs Merck had been testing.