Ken Frazier appears before the Senate Committee on Finance for a hearing on prescription drug pricing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, February 26, 2019. Chris Kleponis for CNP via AP Images

Who’s next in line to suc­ceed Ken Fra­zier as CEO of the Keytru­da-blessed Mer­ck?

When Mer­ck waved off a loom­ing forced re­tire­ment for Ken Fra­zier last Sep­tem­ber, the board cit­ed flex­i­bil­i­ty in CEO tran­si­tion as a key fac­tor in the de­ci­sion. Hav­ing Fra­zier — who’s al­so chair­man of the com­pa­ny — around be­yond his 65th birth­day in 2019 would en­sure they in­stall the best per­son at the best time, they said.

The board has ev­i­dent­ly be­gun that process with a clear pref­er­ence for in­ter­nal can­di­dates, sources told Bloomberg. CFO Robert Davis, chief mar­ket­ing of­fi­cer Michael Nal­ly, and chief com­mer­cial of­fi­cer Frank Clyburn are all in the run­ning, ac­cord­ing to an in­sid­er.

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