At Johnson & Johnson’s recent annual meeting of shareholders, Bill Weldon officially transferred responsibilities for running the company to incoming CEO Alex Gorsky, as previously announced. Weldon remains chairman of the board at J&J and Gorsky, who was elected to the board at the meeting, begins his new role as the company’s seventh CEO.
“It has been a profound honor and privilege to have served as your CEO these past 10 years,” Weldon told the audience of shareholders. “The time has come to pass the mantle to someone who I have known and worked with for over 20 years. I am confident that Johnson & Johnson will continue shaping and leading the future of health care and advancing the health and well being of people around the world.”
On his vision for the future of the company, Gorsky stressed, “Our credo will remain at the core of what drives our actions. It reflects our values, our beliefs and our aspirations. It defines our core responsibilities to our stakeholders. It enables us to make a real, lasting and profound difference in the world.” Gorsky outlined the central themes of how J&J will address the changing environment and remain successful well into the future: By bringing meaningful innovations to patients; staying true to the company’s core values; remaining dedicated to a broad-based approach to delivering human health care; remaining committed to being decentralized in those areas that are closest to serving patients and customers; and managing for the long term.
Gorsky also stressed the need to maintain a global mindset. “We must think about everything we do in global terms, if we expect to touch more patients, expand access to health care and grow our businesses.” For example, he said, “Our fastest-growing markets are the emerging markets. Markets where incomes, while lower, are growing rapidly. Markets where unmet health care needs abound. We're doing well in many emerging markets today, while in other markets, there is still much work to do. Global opportunities can lead us to new products, new markets, new technologies and new business models.
“Going forward,” Gorsky added, “We intend to build upon the strongest elements of Johnson & Johnson’s legacy. But we also intend to be bold in our thinking and our actions as we move this great company forward.”