Merck Adds Very Solid Google (And Ex-McKinsey) Executive To Its Board, Overnight…

Exactly five years ago now, back in January 2014, Google announced it had some tech that might lead to diabetes monitoring via “smart” electronics, in contact lenses. By July of that year, Novartis had signed up to work on getting it to market, and through FDA.

Since then, I’ve seen nothing on it — and with this NGMBio diabetes candidate announcement, maybe Merck will be persuaded to take up the mantle — on novel 21st Century diagnostic devices. We shall see. In any event, Ms. Coe is a stellar addition to Merck’s board — here’s a bit:

“. . .We are pleased to welcome such a highly respected business leader in technology as Ms. Coe to the Merck board and look forward to benefiting from her deep understanding of the evolving digital marketplace. As the health care system continues to evolve, Ms. Coe’s strategic perspective and operational expertise at one of the world’s most innovative companies will be a significant asset to Merck,” said Kenneth C. Frazier, chairman and chief executive officer, Merck.

Ms. Coe currently serves as president of Google Customer Solutions at Google where she oversees the global ads business for mid-market and small businesses, serving millions of customers and thousands of partners worldwide. Prior to joining Google in 2012, Ms. Coe was a principal at the global consulting firm McKinsey & Co. and a leader of the firm’s consumer marketing and sales practice in North America. . . .

Adding a digital “DTC” expert certainly cannot hurt — in view of the still rather conservative marketing approach, at Kenilworth. [I do not doubt that Merck is still somewhat gun-shy, after inheriting the mess Fast Fred Hassan made at SGP, of the Nasonex Bee DTC TV spots.]

Normally, I am rather skeptical of McK alums, but based on what I’ve known (over decades) of this one — I think she will be very a cogent voice in the board room, and wise counsel — for Mr. Frazier. Onward — with wind chills of minus 50 (actual of minus 21) at the moment here. Brrrr. . . .


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