Johnson & Johnson has chosen company veteran Alex Gorsky as its next chief executive officer. Mr. Gorsky, who recently delivered a keynote address at the CED Life Science Conference 2012, will take the leadership role at J&J this April, taking over for William Weldon.
This change comes during a challenging month for J&J, the world's second biggest seller of health-care products. Last week, J&J said it was recalling more than a half-million bottles of infants' Tylenol due to complaints with the dosing system. This is the latest recall in a long series of recalls of Tylenol, Motrin, Benadryl and others over the last two years.
In his keynote address at the CED Life Science Conference 2012 on Feb. 16, Mr. Gorsky opened by saying that when he thinks of the current state of healthcare, he often is reminded of a famous Dickens line: "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times."
Mr. Gorsky then articulated his vision for the healthcare industry, laying out an argument for an increase in meaningful innovation, research and development, and global opportunities as well as one in favor of consistency within the FDA, stating that the right objectives and measurements are vitally important to the long-term success of the industry at large.
According to Mr. Gorsky, there's no where he would rather be than in healthcare, and at J&J. While describing the industry, Mr. Gorsky said "while we have got a lot of challenges, I can't think of a better industry to be a part of."
Within this framework of opportunity in healthcare, and Mr. Gorsky's parting words for those in the industry to "do good and do well," it seems fitting to hear the news from J&J that he has been selected to ascend to the role of CEO.
Mr. Gorsky, 51, beat out fellow vice chairman Sheri McCoy for the top spot. Mr. Gorsky said in a statement that he was honored by the appointment, "and I am also aware of the serious responsibilities that come with this office."