Merck's vax chief resigns, spurring shake-up buzz

Merck's vaccine chief is stepping down, spurring widespread speculation that the departure could signal the start of a major management shake-up ahead of its merger with Schering-Plough.

Margaret McGlynn (photo), once viewed as a CEO candidate, says she thought that this was a good time to pursue other "personal and professional aspirations." McGlynn, 49, has worked at Merck for 26 years and spent the last four years running the pharma giant's vaccine arm. During that time Merck launched Gardasil, which has provided a major boost to the company's bottom line.

Analyst Tim Anderson wrote that the departure signals a looming upheaval in the ranks of Merck executives. "Our understanding is that over the coming weeks there could be a significant shake-up in the most senior ranks of the company, some of which could come as a surprise to investors."

- read the report from the Wall Street Journal