Johnson & Johnson has named vice chairman Alex Gorsky as its next chief executive officer, succeeding Bill Weldon.

Johnson & Johnson, Alex Gorsky, Johnson & Johnson CEO, chief executive officer, Bill Weldon, Sheri McCoy, vice chairman, chairman, Jim Cullen

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Gorsky to become Johnson & Johnson CEO

February 22nd, 2012

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. – Johnson & Johnson has named vice chairman Alex Gorsky as its next chief executive officer, succeeding Bill Weldon.

Announcing the move late Tuesday, J&J said Gorsky, 51, is slated to take the CEO reins on April 26 at the company's annual shareholder meeting. He also has been nominated for election to the board of directors at the meeting.

Gorsky currently serves as vice chairman of J&J's executive committee, with responsibility for the Medical Devices & Diagnostics Group, Global Supply Chain, Health Care Compliance & Privacy and Government Affairs & Policy units.

Weldon, 63, remains chairman. He has served as chairman and CEO of J&J since 2002.

The company said that as CEO, Gorsky will assume full management responsibilities, including those now reporting to him and to Weldon. Sheri McCoy will become vice chairman of the executive committee and report to Gorsky when takes the helm as CEO. She will continue to lead the Pharmaceuticals and Consumer Groups and maintain responsibility for Information Technology.

"This succession decision involved a rigorous, thorough and formal multiyear process, which included consideration of two superbly qualified internal candidates, as well as outside candidates," Weldon said in a statement.

"Alex and Sheri are two extraordinary leaders. The future of Johnson & Johnson is in very capable hands," Weldon added.

Gorsky began his Johnson & Johnson career in 1988 as a sales representative with Janssen Pharmaceutica in the pharmaceuticals business. Over the next 15 years, he advanced through positions of increasing responsibility in sales, marketing and management. In 2001, he was appointed President of Janssen, and in 2003 he was promoted to company group chairman of Johnson & Johnson's pharmaceuticals business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

He left the Company in 2004 to join the Novartis, where he served as head of the company's pharmaceuticals business in North America. Four years later, he returned to Johnson & Johnson as company group chairman and worldwide franchise chairman for Ethicon in the medical devices business. In 2009, he was appointed worldwide chairman of the Surgical Care Group and to the Johnson & Johnson executive committee. He was appointed vice chairman of the executive committee in January 2011.

Jim Cullen, the independent presiding director of J&J's board, thanked Weldon for his years of service and leadership at the company.

"We thank Bill for his disciplined, decisive and successful stewardship of Johnson & Johnson during a time of transformative change for health care and a turbulent world economy," Cullen stated. "His leadership and accomplishments over the past decade have been extraordinary, and Johnson & Johnson is much stronger, much more diverse in its base of businesses and much better positioned to succeed in today's evolving marketplace."