New Brunswick-based Johnson & Johnson announced that Alex Gorsky, currently chairman and chief executive officer, will serve as executive chairman of Johnson & Johnson and transition the chief executive officer role to Joaquin Duato, currently vice chairman of the company’s executive committee, effective Jan. 3, 2022. Following the transition of the chief executive officer role, Duato will also be appointed as a member of the company’s board of directors.
“It has been an honor and privilege to lead this company as chairman and CEO for nearly a decade, and I am pleased to serve as executive chairman to help oversee Johnson & Johnson’s ongoing progress improving the health of people and communities everywhere,” said Gorsky. “Over the course of my 30-year career at Johnson & Johnson, guided by our credo, I have witnessed the profound impact of the company’s evolution and expansion of life-enhancing medicines. The past decade alone has been transformational for Johnson & Johnson as we dramatically increased investment in R&D, drove some of the most important global advances in healthcare, made significant strategic shifts across the business and delivered record performance. Most of all, I am humbled to lead our talented and dedicated team of 136,000 associates around the world, and I am immensely proud of how we have upheld the company’s 134-year legacy of delivering solutions to address the world’s most urgent, unmet healthcare needs. The decision to step aside was one of the most difficult of my career. This is the right time for the company as our organization is delivering strong performance across all three segments and is positioned for continued success, in addition to this being the right time for me personally as I focus more on my family due to family health reasons.”
Gorsky has served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Johnson & Johnson since 2012. During his tenure, Gorsky has overseen a more than 60% increase in R&D investments to $12 billion in 2020, making Johnson & Johnson one of the industry’s top investors in research and development, as well as hundreds of acquisitions and partnerships that contributed to the company’s growth across its three segments and an increase in adjusted earnings per share of approximately 85% based on 2021 guidance. A primary focus of R&D investment under Gorsky’s leadership has been oncology, with the company’s sales in this area growing from approximately $2 billion in 2011 to over $12 billion in 2020, while acquisitions have included Actelion, the largest in the company’s history, which significantly expanded Johnson & Johnson’s Pharmaceutical segment portfolio of rare-disease treatments. Gorsky has also led the company in transforming its Medical Devices business with a focus on electrophysiology, surgery, orthopaedics, vision care, and robotic and digital surgery, as well as shaping the Consumer Health portfolio with its strongholds in Self Care and Skin Health and foundation in Essential Health. As part of the company’s commitment to serving more than a billion patients each day, Gorsky has overseen Johnson & Johnson’s significant breakthroughs in vaccine programs, including the deployment of the Ebola and development of the HIV vaccine regimens, and most recently, the development of the first single-shot COVID-19 vaccine, which has meaningfully contributed to the global fight against the pandemic. Gorsky has also promoted a more diverse and inclusive culture, serving as the driving force behind many of Johnson & Johnson’s DE&I initiatives, including its $100 million pledge to fight health inequities for communities of color in the U.S. Under Gorsky’s leadership, the company has delivered exceptional financial performance, with its market capitalization growing from nearly $180 billion to more than $470 billion as the share price increased over 170%.
“I have the utmost confidence in Joaquin to lead Johnson & Johnson as the company’s next CEO,” continued Gorsky. “Over our more than 25 years of working together, he has always demonstrated a passion for solving complex medical and business challenges. In addition to driving accelerated growth and profitability in our Pharmaceutical and Consumer Health businesses, in his most recent role of vice chairman of the executive committee, Joaquin helped guide our enterprise strategic planning process, encompassing all three of the company’s business segments, and was responsible for spearheading a significant technology transformation across the enterprise over the past year. Notably, he also oversaw the company’s rapid response to the COVID-19 pandemic and led coordination of global initiatives to safeguard the health of employees and ensure business and supply chain continuity. I look forward to working closely with Joaquin in my role as executive chairman to help write Johnson & Johnson’s next chapter.”
“I am honored to serve as Johnson & Johnson’s next CEO,” said Duato. “Our company has an unmatched healthcare platform: we are a global pharmaceutical leader with a robust pipeline of transformational and innovative medicines, our Medical Device business is at the forefront of applying cutting-edge technology to deliver physician and patient-centric products and solutions and our Consumer Health business continues to evolve its portfolio of iconic heritage brands and innovative growth brands. As the world continues to face significant health challenges, including the ongoing pandemic, I am inspired by Johnson & Johnson’s opportunity to play a key role in meaningfully improving the global trajectory of human health.”
Duato added, “I have had the pleasure of working closely with Alex for many years and thank him for his outstanding leadership. I am pleased that I will continue to benefit from his guidance and insights moving forward. Above all I am excited to be leading the best team in the industry, and I am confident that we will continue to be guided by our credo in everything we do.”
Anne Mulcahy, lead independent director, said, “Our board of directors has engaged in thoughtful long-term succession planning, and today’s announcement demonstrates the strength of that process as well as our depth of talent at the executive management level to drive the company’s continued growth and success. Joaquin has played a critical role in driving the transformation of our Pharmaceutical business into a global powerhouse, and since taking on the role of vice chairman of the executive committee in 2018, he has collaborated with the Consumer Health leadership team to deliver enhanced growth and profitability. He is deeply committed to the company’s mission and has shown his ability to effectively lead, collaborate and create value. We are confident that Joaquin is uniquely qualified and the right person to lead Johnson & Johnson into the future.”
Mulcahy continued, “On behalf of the board, I am deeply grateful to Alex for his enormous contributions to Johnson & Johnson over more than three decades. Through his tenure as chairman and CEO, he has led an evolution of the company’s portfolio of businesses and remarkable growth of the Pharmaceutical, Medical Device and Consumer Health segments. Not only has he been a visionary and transformational leader of Johnson & Johnson, but his influence has shaped both the healthcare landscape and the greater business community. His longtime advocacy of diversity, equity and inclusion and veterans’ issues has inspired us all, and his work as a member of the boards of the Business Council and the Business Roundtable has helped to promote a stronger and more ethical business environment. We deeply respect Alex’s decision to focus on his family’s health, and appreciate his ongoing commitment to Johnson & Johnson through his role as executive chairman as we all support this leadership transition and continue to position the company as a global leader in healthcare.”
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