Darmstadt, Germany, September 23, 2016 – Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, a leading science and technology company, today announced that Isabel De Paoli (42) has been appointed Chief Strategy Officer effective Oct. 1, 2016. De Paoli will head the newly created Group Strategy and Transformation function, integrating existing strategy, innovation and digitalization initiatives across Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. She will assume the new role in addition to her current position as Head of Group Communications for the time being and continue to report to Stefan Oschmann, CEO and Chairman of the Executive Board of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany.

“Over the past year, we’ve started to explore a variety of very promising innovation and digitalization projects to deliver on our promise as a science and technology,” Oschmann said. “Going forward, we will integrate those initiatives in a coherent strategy to ensure swift and successful implementation. Isabel De Paoli has built a strong track record in defining strategies and setting up organizations that yield efficient and effective returns – most recently in her role as Head of Group Communications, successfully streamlining the organization to support strategic objectives of our Healthcare, Life Science and Performance Materials businesses.”

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, has gradually expanded its innovation and digitalization portfolio over the past years, including the expansion of its venture fund to up to 300 million euros as well as the appointments of a Chief Digital and a Chief Innovation Officer. A year ago, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, opened the Innovation Center in Darmstadt, which focuses on cross-business innovation projects as well as external accelerator programs in Germany and Africa. All initiatives are aimed at fostering digitalization and innovation within, across and beyond the businesses.

In addition to the existing Digitalization, Innovation and Corporate Venture units, the newly created Group Strategy and Transformation function will comprise Strategy Development as well as the Africa Strategy Office, which was set up in 2015 to drive the company’s ambitious growth plans on the continent.

Isabel De Paoli joined Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, in August 2006 as Business Development Manager Chemicals and was appointed Head of Strategic Planning Oncology in 2009. Between 2012 and 2015 she was responsible for Group Strategy, establishing the global function and introducing a systematic strategy development process. In 2015 she was appointed as Head of Group Communications to strengthen the function’s focus on supporting the achievement of business objectives. De Paoli will complete the realignment that she started this year and hand the position over to a successor in due course. Following her Chemical Engineering studies in Brazil and Hamburg, she began her career as consultant, working for The Boston Consulting Group, from where she moved to private equity firm Permira. De Paoli holds Brazilian and Italian citizenships.