J&J CEO announces organizational changes

NEW YORK In an interview with the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday, Johnson & Johnson chairman and CEO William Weldon outlined a number of organizational changes taking place across the company in light of the recent spate of recalled products at McNeil Consumer Healthcare, a J&J company.

First, there is the creation of a corporate oversight group, headed by Ajit Shetty, who will be in charge of operations for the company’s pharmaceuticals, medical device and consumer segments. Shetty will report directly to Weldon.

Each of J&J’s business units will field its own chief quality officer, all of whom will report to Shetty. Managers of J&J’s 120 manufacturing facilities worldwide likewise will report to Shetty.

"The people who use our products are our first priority, and we've let them down," Weldon told the Wall Street Journal, adding that the company has "a lot to do to earn [trust in the company] back."

Weldon also vowed to regain the confidence of retailers impacted by the McNeil recalls over the course of 2011, once production of those recalled medicines resumes. J&J currently is refitting its Fort Washington, Pa., plant and is planning to invest in the upgrade of other McNeil facilities as well. Production at the Fort Washington plant isn’t expected to resume until the second half of 2011. However, McNeil has parlayed production of the recalled products across other sites, and expected to have supply for those products by first quarter 2011, according to previous reports.

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