William C. Weldon, the chairman of Johnson & Johnson, is stepping down at the end of this year and will be succeeded by Alex Gorsky, the current chief executive, the company announced Friday.
This photo combo of file images provided by Johnson & Johnson show Johnson & Johnson CEO Alex Gorsky, left, and Chairman Bill Weldon. Weldon will step down from the post of Chairman in late December 2012, at which time Gorsky will hold both of the company's top titles. Photo: Johnson & Johnson / AP
Mr. Gorsky's election as chairman of the board had been expected after he took Mr. Weldon's place as chief executive in April. In a statement, Mr. Gorsky said he was honored to succeed Mr. Weldon as chairman. "Our financial strength, global reach and innovations that help people live longer, healthier lives are a proud legacy for Bill and a strong foundation for the future of Johnson & Johnson," Mr. Gorsky said.
Mr. Weldon plans to retire in the first quarter of 2013, after a brief transitional period. He will then be eligible for $95.1 million in deferred and long-term compensation, as well as $48 million in pension payments, the company said.
His departure ends a 41-year career at Johnson & Johnson, one that began in 1971 as a pharmaceutical sales representative for the company's McNeil unit. He became chief executive in 2002 and presided over one of the most tumultuous periods in the company's history, including recalls of iconic products, manufacturing lapses and government inquiries that threatened to tarnish the name of one of the country's most trusted companies.
Source: The New York Times | KATIE THOMAS