By Dhirendra Tripathi
Investing.com – Johnson & Johnson stock (NYSE:) traded nearly 1% lower in Friday’s premarket as the company said Alex Gorsky, its Chairman and CEO of nine years, will don the role of Executive Chairman and hand the CEO’s role to company veteran Joaquin Duato.
Doato is currently J&J’s vice chairman of the executive committee and will take the new job from January 3.
Gorsky cited “family health reasons” for the decision to move away from the high-pressure job.
During Gorsky’s tenure, the company had its highs and lows, most of which the CEO negotiated with mixed degrees of success. This year alone, the company has been ordered to pay $2.1 billion in restitution to users of its baby powder who subsequently developed cancer, and agreed to pay $5 billion to settle charges that it helped fuel the opioid epidemic. Duato will be able to take over relatively free from any uncertainties around those two long-running issues.
Gorsky also established J&J as a major player in the rare diseases market and led its development of the COVID-19 vaccine, the only single-shot jab in the market – albeit one that has struggled to overcome negative publicity associated with allegations of associated thrombosis risk.
Duato has held a variety of roles in his more than 30-year-association with J&J. He most recently oversaw its pharmaceutical and consumer health businesses, which have a combined $60 billion in sales.
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