USA — Johnson & Johnson’s board of directors has elected Chief Executive Officer Joaquin Duato to the additional role of chairman, beginning in January.

Alex Gorsky, who will step down as executive chairman after a brief transition period, will be succeeded by Duato.

The healthcare conglomerate is undergoing the most significant restructuring in its 135-year history, spinning off its consumer health business as Kenvue.

Duato, a J&J veteran, took over as CEO earlier this year after serving in a variety of roles during his more than 30 years with the company.

He also played a key role in J&J’s Covid-19 response and helped shape the company’s pharmaceutical business strategy.

Duato previously served as vice chair of the executive committee at the company. He provided strategic direction for the company’s pharmaceutical and consumer health sectors. Duato also oversaw both the information technology and the global supply chain arms.

He earned an MBA from ESADE in Barcelona, Spain, and a Master of International Management from Thunderbird School of Global Management in Phoenix, Arizona.

Guided by our credo, I will continue to work closely with the other directors to build on Johnson & Johnson’s success,” said Duato

Gorsky on the other hand began his J&J career in 1988 as a sales representative with Janssen Pharmaceuticals and had been at the helm of the company for nearly a decade.

During his tenure, J&J’s market capitalization increased from nearly US$180 billion to over US$460 billion.

In August 2021, Gorsky announced plans to hand the CEO role over to Duato, citing family health reasons. Gorsky remained on as executive chair following a spate of leadership moves at the start of 2022.

The opportunity to lead Johnson & Johnson through such a pivotal time in the company’s history has been the great privilege of my life,” said Gorsky.

Separately, Johnson & Johnson unit Janssen Global Services has said that it does not intend to make an offer for biotech company Horizon Therapeutics.

Last month, Horizon Therapeutics – which has a market capitalization of about US$18 billion – said it was in talks with Amgen Inc, Sanofi, and Janssen Global Services, all three of which have been active in deal-making this year.

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