The company went to another insider to lead the health-care giant through the pandemic.
On Thursday, the pharma giant announced that Alex Gorsky will step down as chief executive in January, ceding the role to long-time company executive Joaquin Duato. Gorsky, who has been chairman and CEO of J&J since 2012 will stay on as Executive Chairman. "It has been an honor and privilege to lead this company as Chairman and CEO for nearly a decade, and I am pleased to serve as Executive Chairman to help oversee Johnson & Johnson's ongoing progress improving the health of people and communities everywhere," said Mr. Gorsky. In his time as CEO, he oversaw a 60 percent rise in R&D spending as well as hundreds of acquisitions and partnerships. His tenure also coincided with the development of the company's one-shot COVID-19 vaccine, used by many countries.
Duato, a three-decade veteran of J&J has served in his current role since 2018, guiding the drug and consumer product divisions, and overseeing supply-chain and technology operations. "I am honoured to serve as Johnson & Johnson's next CEO," said Mr Duato. Adding that, "As the world continues to face significant health challenges, including the ongoing pandemic, I am inspired by Johnson & Johnson's opportunity to play a key role in meaningfully improving the global trajectory of human health." Anne Mulcahy, J&J’s lead independent director, said the board “engaged in thoughtful long-term succession planning.” She described Duato as an effective and committed leader who has been critical to the company’s growth. Recently, Kenneth Frazier, Gorsky’s long-time counterpart at Merck, who also retired after a decade at the pharma giant’s helm.