There has been a flurry of activity in the pharmaceutical industry lately: Pfizer spun-out it's animal health division into Zoetis, Abbott spun-out it's branded drug-making unit into AbbVie, and AstraZeneca recently changed its chief executive. Merck (NYSE:MRK) has been the exception, and has really stuck to a classic R&D structure, with some business diversification.

But that could slowly start to change.

Today, Merck announced an executive reshuffle that will see a new person head up the company's global R&D efforts. Health-care analyst Max Macaluso discusses this change, and what it could mean for Merck's long-term strategic vision.

Max Macaluso, Ph.D. has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.