Joaquin Duato
Joaquin Duato of Johnson and Johnson. (Erik Pendzich/Shutterstock)

People on the Move: Joaquin Duato, New CEO of Johnson & Johnson

New Brunswick, New Jersey-based multinational pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson (a DiversityInc Hall of Fame company) has announced that its current Chairman and CEO Alex Gorsky will be transitioning to the new position of Executive Chairman. In his place, Joaquin Duato, the company’s current Executive Committee Vice Chairman, will become the company’s new CEO and a member of the company’s Board of Directors.

“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 in improving the health of people and communities everywhere,” Gorsky said in a statement.

He added that he saw a “profound impact” of Johnson & Johnson’s medicines over his 30-year career with the company, which includes investment in research and development and drove global advances in healthcare over the past decade. 

“Most of all, I am humbled to lead our talented and dedicated team of 136,000 associates around the world, and I am immensely proud of how we have upheld the Company’s 134-year legacy of delivering solutions to address the world’s most urgent, unmet healthcare needs,” he said. “The decision to step aside was one of the most difficult of my career. This is the right time for the Company as our organization is delivering strong performance across all three segments and is positioned for continued success, in addition to this being the right time for me personally as I focus more on my family due to family health reasons.”

Johnson & Johnson’s new CEO Duato said he is honored to be the next CEO of the company. 

“Our Company has an unmatched healthcare platform: we are a global pharmaceutical leader with a robust pipeline of transformational and innovative medicines, our Medical Device business is at the forefront of applying cutting-edge technology to deliver physician and patient-centric products and solutions and our Consumer Health business continues to evolve its portfolio of iconic heritage brands and innovative growth brands,” he said.

Duato added that he has worked closely with Gorsky for many years and will continue to benefit from his guidance. 

“Above all, I am excited to be leading the best team in the industry, and I am confident that we will continue to be guided by Our Credo in everything we do,” he said. 

According to Johnson & Johnson, Gorsky has been the company’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer since 2012. Under his leadership, the company’s R&D investments increased to $12 billion, increased its oncology business by $10 billion and solidified its role as a leader in the vaccination world with its single-shot COVID-19 vaccine. Gorsky also led Johnson & Johnson’s purchase of Actelion, the largest in J&J history, which significantly expanded Johnson & Johnson’s portfolio of rare-disease treatments. 

Gorsky also dramatically increased diversity, equity, and inclusion within the company, “serving as the driving force behind many of Johnson & Johnson’s DE&I initiatives, including its $100 million pledge to fight health inequities for communities of color in the U.S.,” the company said.

Despite his incredible success, he was also quick to add just how excited he was to pass the company’s rings to his successor. 

“I have the utmost confidence in Joaquin to lead Johnson & Johnson as the Company’s next CEO,” Gorsky said. “Over our more than 25 years of working together, he has always demonstrated a passion for solving complex medical and business challenges. In addition to driving accelerated growth and profitability in our Pharmaceutical and Consumer Health businesses, in his most recent role of Vice Chairman of the Executive Committee, Joaquin helped guide our enterprise strategic planning process, encompassing all three of the Company’s business segments, and was responsible for spearheading a significant technology transformation across the enterprise over the past year. 

Gorsky said Duato oversaw Johnson & Johnson’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and “led the coordination of global initiatives to safeguard the health of employees and ensure business and supply chain continuity.”

Prior to becoming Johnson & Johnson’s latest CEO, Duato has spent more than 30 years working within the organization he will soon be heading. A dual citizen of both Spain and the U.S. and the current executive sponsor of Johnson & Johnson’s African Ancestry Leadership Council, he assures that going forward, the company will remain committed to diverse thoughts and opinions under his leadership. 

“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,” he said.

 

Related: For more recent diversity and inclusion news, click here.

 

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