Belén Garijo

Chair of Executive Board and CEO of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany

Belén Garijo is the Chair of the Executive Board and CEO of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, since May 2021. Under her leadership, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, has defined its strategic ambition to become the global 21st century science and technology pioneer and set its goal of € 25 billion in Group sales by 2025.

To deliver on this ambition, Garijo leads the Group focusing on key priorities:

  • Mobilizing for efficient growth
  • Leveraging innovation
  • Developing a high-impact culture
  • Creating long-term value through sustainability 

Belén Garijo joined the Healthcare business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, in 2011, becoming its President and CEO in 2015. During her tenure, she led Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany`s Healthcare business turnaround and strategic shift to become a global player in oncology and immunology by repositioning the portfolio, reorganizing R&D and realigning the commercial model. Garijo forged major global alliances that further contributed to the value of the Healthcare portfolio and fostered the globalization of the business focusing on the U.S., Japan, and other high-growth markets.

Before joining Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, Belén Garijo served as the Senior Vice President of Global Operations Europe at Sanofi-Aventis, leading the integration of Genzyme after its acquisition.

She previously held several local and global executive positions, both in R&D and commercial, at various companies at the forefront of the healthcare sector in Madrid, Chicago, New Jersey, Barcelona, Paris, Geneva and now in Darmstadt.

Belén Garijo was included in the Most Powerful Women lists of Fortune and Forbes in 2022 and 2023.

In October 2022, Belén Garijo received the German Diversity Honorary Award by the BeyondGenderAgenda network, in recognition of her personal commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.

In 2022 she was designated by the King of Spain as Honorary Brand Ambassador for Spain.

Belén Garijo was born on July 31, 1960 in Almansa, Spain. She is a medical doctor specializing in clinical pharmacology and started her career as a practicing physician at La Paz hospital in Madrid.

Responsibility for Group functions

  • Group Legal & Compliance
  • Group Internal Auditing
  • Corporate Sustainability, Quality & Trade Compliance
  • Group Communications, Brand & Corporate Affairs
  • Group Human Resources
  • Group Strategy, M&A and Venturing
  • Group Science & Technology Office

External positions

  • L’Oréal SA, Clichy, France, (publicly listed company), Independent Director of the Board
  • Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria S.A., Bilbao, Spain, (publicly listed company), Independent Director of the Board
  • EU-Japan Business Round Table, EU-side Chair
  • German Chemical Industry Association (VCI), Member of the Executive Committee
  • European Round Table for Industry, Member
  • The Business Council, Active Member


The Curriculum Vitae of the Executive Board Members are updated when changes occur or regularly upon the publication of the invitation to the annual general meeting.

(Updated in: November 2023)