Executive Director, Business Development Transactions - West Coast Innovation Hub

San Francisco, CA, US
March 21 2018
Organization Type
Requisition ID: BUS002651

Merck & Co., Inc. Kenilworth, N.J., U.S.A. known as Merck in the United States and Canada, is a global health care leader with a diversified portfolio of prescription medicines, vaccines and animal health products. The difference between potential and achievement lies in the spark that fuels innovation and inventiveness; this is the space where Merck has codified its legacy for over a century. Merck’s success is backed by ethical integrity, forward momentum, and an inspiring mission to achieve new milestones in global healthcare.

Merck is on a quest for cures and is committed to being the world’s premier, most research-intensive biopharmaceutical company. Today, we’re doubling down on this goal. Merck Research Laboratories is a true scientific research facility of tomorrow, and will take Merck’s leading discovery capabilities and world-class small molecule and biologics R&D expertise to create breakthrough science that radically changes the way we approach serious diseases. 


The Transactions group within the Business Development & Licensing organization is responsible for all early-stage (pre-PoC in humans) Therapy Area transactions supporting the Business Development objectives for Merck Research Labs on the West Coast of the United States and Canada.   The Executive Director will be a senior negotiator and will lead cross-functional deal teams to formulate, value, test, and present business cases to executive management in support of deals that s/he will negotiate to completion if approved.  S/he will report to the Associate Vice President and Head of the West Coast Innovation Hub for Business, Development and Licensing. and will be responsible for transactions to populate the Merck pipeline and will negotiate and execute agreements involving all deal structures, including in- licensing, collaborations, equity purchases, M&A, co-development/co-promotion, and other deal structures. Specific responsibilities will include:
  • Lead complex transactions within therapeutic areas
  • Interface with executive partners within relevant Therapeutic Areas to ensure alignment
  • Drive a collaborative, results-oriented culture to support win-win for Merck and its Collaborators
 The incumbent will routinely interface with and seek to influence senior level management within and outside Merck’s current therapeutic interest areas.  S/he will have strong influence on outside partners and potential partners, as would be expected in a business development leadership role.  S/he will organize and lead his/her deal team to ensure it maintains alignment with its MRL (Merck Research Labs) partners and also to deliver on ambitious BD goals set by the corporation.  S/he must have excellent judgment, as s/he will be responsible for all transactions within the West Coast Innovation Hub for Business Development & Licensing. These transactions will include both those which s/he personally leads and also those executed within the hub by his/her colleagues. The incumbent will solve complex problems during negotiations, and will apply judgment in reviewing and recommending solutions.  This will require both business and financial acumen, as well as a deep understanding of the needs and risk inherent in drug development.  S/he will have a small but high intensity team with significant responsibility for helping Merck achieve its ambitious BD goals.


  • An advanced degree in science, law or business is highly preferred
  • A minimum of 10 years professional work experience with at least 5 years in pharmaceutical or biotech transactions, including demonstrated experience leading negotiations
  • Significant experience in early-stage milestone and royalty bearing transactions required 
  • Understanding of scientific principles and the drug development process is recommended 
  • Demonstrated leadership, interpersonal skills and creativity in applying analytical frameworks to business issues are critical 
  • Demonstrated ability to partner with executive leadership required
  • Requires excellent transactional, financial, business, and management expertise, as well as strong capability and knowledge of early and late stage transactions and at least a high level understanding of the science/technology it supports
  • Excellent references to support (i) a track-record of solving problems within the context of completing deals and (ii) sustainable business practice where collaborators and partners would gladly work with the candidate again.
  •  Your role at Merck is integral to helping the world meet new breakthroughs that affect generations to come, and we’re counting on your skills and inventiveness to help make meaningful contributions to global medical advancement. At Merck, we’re inventing for life. 


    If you need assistance and/or a reasonable accommodation due to a disability during the application or the recruiting process, please send a request to staffingaadar@merck.com.


    Search Firm Representatives Please Read Carefully: 

    Merck & Co., Inc. is not accepting unsolicited assistance from search firms for this employment opportunity.  Please, no phone calls or emails.  All resumes submitted by search firms to any employee at Merck via email, the Internet or in any form and/or method without a valid written search agreement in place for this position will be deemed the sole property of Merck.  No fee will be paid in the event the candidate is hired by Merck as a result of the referral or through other means.


    Visa sponsorship is not available for this position.


    For more information about personal rights under Equal Employment Opportunity, visit:


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    Job: Business Development
    Other Locations:
    Employee Status: Regular
    Number of Openings: 1
    Shift (if applicable):
    Hazardous Materials:
    Company Trade Name: Merck

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