Belén Garijo

Courtesy of Merck KGaA
  • Title
    Deputy CEO; Vice Chair of the Executive Board; CEO, Healthcare; CEO Designate
  • Company
    Merck KGaA
  • Country
    Darmstadt, Germany

It’s been a big year for Garijo, who in September was announced as the next CEO of Merck KGaA—the Darmstadt, Germany–based pharma company with $19 billion in annual revenues and a market capitalization of $66.2 billion. That news followed her promotion to deputy CEO and vice chairman of the executive board in July and positions her to become just one of two women running a major pharmaceutical company when she takes over in May 2021. (Emma Walmsley, No. 1, on this list is the other.) While COVID-19 had a significant negative impact on the health care division Garijo has overseen for the past five years, with sales declining 10.6% to $1.77 billion in Q2, she played a key leadership role in a cross-divisional COVID-19 innovation task force that established a portfolio of about 50 potential projects, including vaccines, transmission control and virus detection measures, access to therapies, and predictive modeling.

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