Merck exec to be Gates Foundation CFO

SEATTLE, March 31 (Reuters) - A former Merck & Co Inc MRK.N executive is to be the new chief financial officer of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, one of the world's largest philanthropic organizations.

Richard Henriques, who has been senior vice president of finance and corporate controller at pharmaceutical giant Merck since 2006, takes up his job at the Seattle-based foundation on April 19.

The Gates Foundation, which has an endowment worth $34 billion, works with a number of drugs companies as it fights malaria, AIDS, tuberculosis and other diseases in developing countries. It also funds a range of infrastructure and education projects.

Henriques will oversee the foundation’s finances, including accounting, planning and analysis, and will act as “strategic partner” to chief executive Jeff Raikes.

Henriques is the successor to Alexander Friedman, who left the foundation recently after two years in the job. (Reporting by Bill Rigby; Editing by Bernard Orr)