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WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. (AP) — Drugmaker Merck & Co. Inc. said Wednesday that it named Michael Holston as its chief ethics and compliance officer.

Holston, 49, will succeed Richard Bowles, 60, who plans to retire after a more than 35-year career with Merck and the former Schering-Plough, the Whitehouse Station, N.J.-based company said.

Holston, whose appointment is effective June 25, will serve on Merck's executive committee and be responsible for overseeing ethical standards and compliance on a global basis, Merck said. He will report to Chairman and CEO Kenneth Frazier.

Holston most recently served as executive vice president and general counsel for Hewlett-Packard Co. Before that, he was a partner in the litigation practice at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, where he served as external counsel to Merck, the company said.

In afternoon trading, Merck shares fell 18 cents to $38.62.

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