Sean Hughes

Director of Innovation, Customer Strategy and Innovation, Merck & Co

Sean Hughes is Director of Innovation and responsible for identifying relevant external and internal capabilities that support Merck/MSD’s strategic objectives, with a clear focus on addressing customers’ most pressing needs. He is a customer-focused professional with over 19 years of global experience in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry. He began his career in 1994 by establishing a National Cardiac Disease Rehabilitation Program for the Heart Foundation of Barbados and joined Merck in 1998. He has held leadership positions for the company in the Caribbean, Latin American, the US and Canada and represented Merck on the Board of Directors of the Pan American Ophthalmological Foundation. From 1998-2006 he worked extensively in the HIV drug market. During this period he was involved in many aspects of business development and facilitated engagements with several multinational organizations including the World Bank, PAHO, PEFPAR and UNAIDS. As the National Director of Oncology and Specialty Medicines at Merck Canada, his team launched a breakthrough treatment in oncology and also formalized the Merck Canada Institutional Strategy for Hospitals nation-wide. In 2011 Sean moved to Merck’s Innovation Venture Unit, where he was intimately involved as a founding member of VreeHealth Llc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Merck. He is now Director of Innnovation.