Paris Panayiotopoulos. Photo courtesy of the company.
Paris Panayiotopoulos. Photo courtesy of the company.

Rockland-based EMD Serono Inc., a subsidiary of a German pharmaceutical, chemical, and life sciences company with nearly 900 employees in Massachusetts, announced the appointment Friday of Paris Panayiotopoulos as its president and managing director.

The German company is Merck KGaA. Panayiotopoulos comes to EMD Serono from the company’s Japan affiliate, Merck Serono, where he served as president and managing director since 2012. Merck Serono is the biopharmaceutical division of Merck KGaA. EMD Serono also has a facility in Billerica. Merck’s multiple sclerosis drug Rebif is marketed by EMD Serono.

At EMD Serono, Panayiotopoulos succeeds James Hoyes, who resigned Sept. 30 after he “decided to pursue other professional opportunities,” EMD Serono said in an August press release.

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Belén Garijo, MD, president and chief executive of Merck Serono, commented on the new appointment in a statement in a statement included in the company’s press release.

“Paris is a strong customer and people oriented leader who brings a wealth of industry knowledge to this very important position for our organization,” Garijo said. “He is an internal talent with a proven track record of driving improved business performance and developing quality leadership teams. We are truly excited to have Paris take

over this important and strategic role for the company.”