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Gorsky named chairman of J&J

Completes transition from former CEO and chair Bell Weldon

Alex Gorsky J&J

Johnson & Johnson (J&J) has named its recently-appointed chief executive Alex Gorsky as its new chairman, completing the leadership transition from former incumbent Bill Weldon.

Gorsky took over from Weldon as CEO of the healthcare giant in April and will now assume his responsibilities as chairman on December 29, 2012, according to a company statement.

Weldon will remain on the leadership team for a few weeks to assist in the transition process, before retiring in the first quarter of 2013 after more than four decades with the company.

Giving Gorsky both positions is a return to the usual management structure at J&J, as Weldon held both positions during his 10-year stint at the helm of the firm.

"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," commented presiding director James Cullen.

Gorsky takes over at a time when J&J is still trying to fix manufacturing problems that have sparked recalls of millions of McNeil consumer health and over-the-counter pharmaceutical products, including its flagship Tylenol painkiller brand.

The company remains under an Food and Drug Administration (FDA) consent decree for two of its plants and said recently it expects this to remain in place through most of 2013, and has reported dramatic reductions in consumer health sales in recent quarters.

J&J has also been forced to set aside hundreds of millions of dollars to settle illegal marketing charges concerning its antipsychotic drug Risperdal (risperidone).

Gorsky said when taking over the CEO position that fixing McNeil was his top priority, along with expanding into emerging markets and revitalising the company's R&D operations.

Meanwhile, Weldon looks set to collect pension benefits and deferred compensation worth around $143.5m when he retires.

"Bill's leadership and contributions to J&J over a 41-year career leave us well-positioned to continue addressing the world's most prevalent diseases and unmet needs in health care," said Gorsky.

3rd December 2012

From: Sales

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