DARMSTADT, GERMANY — Sabia Schwarzer is joining Merck as head of group communications, brand and corporate affairs, after ending her 25-year career with Allianz.

Schwarzer will arrive in January 2022 to lead the newly-created group communications, brand and corporate affairs function, reporting to Merck CEO and executive board chair Belén Garijo.

Her arrival will see current Merck corporate affairs head Petra Wicklandt take over  management of another new corporate function — corporate sustainability, quality and trade compliance — next month. Meanwhile, group communications head Thomas Möller has decided to leave Merck at the beginning of next year.

Under Schwarzer, corporate affairs and group communications are being combined into one function, which aims to raise the company's global profile and build its reputation as a leading player in science and technology.

“I am very pleased that Sabia Schwarzer is coming to Merck at this crucial point in our journey," said Garijo in a statement. "Growth and new stakeholder expectations will shape the future of the company. Trust and credibility will then be the key to progress. As the head of global corporate responsibility and reputation functions, Sabia Schwarzer has many years of experience in shaping and developing corporate reputation in dialogue with important stakeholders."

Schwarzer took on the top communications job at Allianz in 2015, filling the shoes of 23-year corporate communications veteran Emilio Galli Zugaro. Her elevation came after spending two decades with the insurance giant in a variety of senior marketing and communications roles across the world, including as head of communications for North America for 14 years, being a board member of the Allianz Foundation, and as head of communications for Asia-Pacific.

“Merck uniquely combines firmly anchored values and tradition with innovation, a global mindset and modern corporate management," said Schwarzer. "I am honored to be part of a journey that began more than 350 years ago. I am also looking forward to getting to know the Merck team and this industry, which is still new to me, and to doing my best."