Joaquin Duato to take over as J&J chief executive

Johnson & Johnson will replace chairman and chief executive Alex Gorsky with another veteran company executive starting next year.

The world’s biggest maker of health care products said that Joaquin Duato will become chief executive and a member of the company’s board of directors on January 3.

Mr 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.

Mr Duato, a dual citizen of Spain and the United States, has been with Johnson & Johnson for more than 30 years, the company said.

Mr Gorsky has served as chairman and chief executive since 2012 and will become executive chairman of the board.

J&J reported a 73% 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 six billion US dollars (£4.4bn) in the second quarter but received little help from its one-shot Covid-19 vaccine, which brought in just 164 million dollars (£120m) 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.

Mr Gorsky, who joined Johnson & Johnson in 1988, oversaw the company’s biggest-ever acquisition, a 30 billion dollar 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% during Mr Gorsky’s tenure to 12 billion dollars (£8.8bn) last year, with oncology being a focus.