WASHIGNTON: Johnson & Johnson will replace Chairman and CEO Alex Gorsky with another veteran company executive starting next year.
The world's biggest maker of health care products said late Thursday that Joaquin Duato will become CEO and a member of the company's board of directors on January 3.
Duato currently serves as vice chairman of J&J's executive committee, which involves working with the company's pharmaceutical and health sectors and overseeing its global supply chain.
Duato, a dual citizen of Spain and the United States, has been with Johnson & Johnson for more than 30 years, the company said.
Gorsky has served as chairman and CEO since 2012 and will become executive chairman of the board.
J&J reported a 73 per cent jump in second-quarter profit last month, driven by strong sales growth as hospitals and other parts of the health care industry rebounded from COVID-19 pandemic slowdowns the previous year.
The New Brunswick, New Jersey, company made more than USD 6 billion in the second quarter but received little help from its one-shot COVID-19 vaccine, which brought in just USD 164 million in sales.
The vaccine -- one of three approved for use in the United States -- has been plagued by concerns about some very rare side effects and the temporary shutdown of a contract manufacturer's factory due to contamination problems.
Gorsky, who joined Johnson & Johnson in 1988, oversaw the company's biggest-ever acquisition, a USD 30-billion deal for Swiss biopharmaceutical company Actelion that was completed in 2018.
The company also noted that investment in research and development has jumped more than 60 per cent during Gorsky's tenure to USD 12 billion last year, with oncology being a focus.
Shares of J&J slipped 76 cents to USD 177.81 Friday before markets opened.
But the stock price has climbed more than 12 per cent so far this year.