Judy Lewent

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Judith C. Lewent was, until July 2007, the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Merck, one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world.

Early life

Lewent received her high school diploma at Hunter College High School, her B.S. in Economics from Goucher College, and her S.M. in 1972 from the MIT Sloan School of Management.


Joining Merck in 1980, Lewent pioneered a new planning model in 1983 based on the Monte Carlo method, as more traditional financial valuation methods seemed not to take account of the long-term nature of pharmaceutical risks. In 1990, on her appointment as CFO, Lewent took on responsibilities for Merck's overall financial and strategic development, and for licensing matters. This appointment made her the first woman to serve as the CFO of a major corporation.

Since then Lewent has also been responsible for Merck's collaboration with Johnson & Johnson in a consumer pharmaceuticals joint venture, for the setting up of the animal health company Merial (a joint venture with the French pharmaceutical company Sanofi-Aventis), and for Merck's ongoing relationships with AstraZeneca and DuPont. She chaired the governing boards of several of these joint ventures.

Lewent is a member of the Board of Directors of Dell Inc., Motorola and the National Bureau of Economic Research, and a trustee of the Rockefeller Family Fund; she is also a life member of the MIT Corporation, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and......
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