Seven months after becoming chief executive officer, Alex Gorsky has been elected as chairman of the board at Johnson & Johnson.

Johnson & Johnson, chairman, Alex Gorsky, Bill Weldon, CEO, health care company, James Cullen, J&J board

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Gorsky elected chairman of Johnson & Johnson

November 30th, 2012

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. – Seven months after becoming chief executive officer, Alex Gorsky has been elected as chairman of the board at Johnson & Johnson.

J&J said Friday that current chairman Bill Weldon, Gorsky's predecessor as CEO, is slated to step down on Dec. 28 and to retire early next year after a brief transitional period.

Plans call for Gorsky to take the reins as chairman and assume additional leadership duties for the global health care company on Dec. 28.

J&J had announced in February that Gorsky, then vice chairman, would succeed Weldon as CEO at the company's annual shareholder meeting on April 26. Weldon had been chairman and CEO of J&J since 2002.

"I am truly honored to succeed Bill Weldon as chairman of Johnson & Johnson," Gorsky said in a statement Friday. "Bill's leadership and contributions to Johnson & Johnson over a 41-year career leave us well-positioned to continue addressing the world's most prevalent diseases and unmet needs in health care. Our financial strength, global reach and innovations that help people live longer, healthier lives are a proud legacy for Bill and a strong foundation for the future of Johnson & Johnson."

Presiding director James Cullen noted that the J&J board carefully weighed the benefits of melding the chairman and CEO posts.

"The board gave thoughtful and rigorous consideration to our governance structure and determined that combining the chairman and CEO positions under the strong leadership of Alex Gorsky will benefit all our stakeholders," Cullen stated.

The board also plans to enhance its governance structure by expanding the duties and responsibilities of the independent presiding director to include more involvement in stakeholder communications, board and executive performance evaluations, agenda-setting and succession planning.

Weldon is due to retire in the first quarter of 2013, according to J&J.

"Serving as chairman and CEO of Johnson & Johnson has been a privilege, and I am confident in Alex's ability to lead the people of Johnson & Johnson to even greater achievements," Weldon commented. "I would like to thank the people of Johnson & Johnson for all their commitment and dedication to the patients and customers they serve. They bring to life the hope and promise of better treatments, cures, health and well-being for those who use our products. It has been an honor to work with them."

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