NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. — Johnson & Johnson on Tuesday named Alex Gorsky CEO of the company, effective April 26, the date of the company’s annual meeting of shareholders. Gorsky also has been nominated for election to the board of directors at the meeting.
Gorsky, 51, currently vice chairman of the company’s executive committee with responsibility for the medical devices and diagnostics group, global supply chain, healthcare compliance, and privacy and government affairs and policy, succeeds Bill Weldon, who has served as chairman and CEO of Johnson & Johnson since 2002. Weldon remains chairman.
As CEO, Gorsky will assume full management responsibilities for Johnson & Johnson, including those currently reporting to him and to Weldon. As vice chairman of the executive committee, Sheri McCoy will report to Gorsky when he assumes the role of 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 multi-year process, which included consideration of two superbly qualified internal candidates, as well as outside candidates," Weldon stated.
Jim Cullen, the independent presiding director of the Board of Directors, added: “It is a testament to the leadership development and succession planning process at Johnson & Johnson that Mr. Gorsky, like all of the previous chief executives in the Company’s 126-year history, was appointed from within the organization.”
Gorsky began his Johnson & Johnson career in 1988 as a sales representative with Janssen Pharmaceutica. 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, 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 Pharmaceuticals Corporation, 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.
Gorsky holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and spent six years in the U.S. Army. In 1996, he earned a Master of Business Administration degree from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.