Merck is in trouble (at least from a Wall Street perspective). Without enough blockbusters to keep the herd of sell and buy-side analysts happy, Merck has turned to cost-cutting to improve its margins. While it might sound a bit self-serving to say it, this is great news from a Spend Management perspective. Why? Merck has one of the best Spend Management executives in the market today to lead these efforts and success is all but a sure thing (in my book). Willie Deese, who is quoted in this Business Week article as head of manufacturing, believes that a “new supply strategy” will be key to this transformation. As Merck's CPO, Willie Deese (scroll down to the bottom of the link) is no stranger to tackling Spend Management challenges. Clearly, elevating Deese in the Merck organization by featuring him as the front-man for Merck’s restructurings sends a strong message to the overall market that Spend Management matters now more than ever -- even in high margins industries like pharma.