J&J chief in hot seat at tomorrow's hearing

With Johnson & Johnson CEO Bill Weldon preparing to testify to Congress tomorrow, it's an opportune time to assess how the company's reputation is holding up in the wake of all those recalls--and the ongoing questions about how it conducted them.

The New York Times takes a broad view: What does the public think of J&J these days? How has Weldon responded to the ongoing problems? What do analysts think? The Wall Street Journal digs into the details of a children's Tylenol recall in 2009, months before the enormous children's drug snafu earlier this year.

But a key question across the board is this: Is J&J too decentralized? The company operates as a collection of highly autonomous units, and that structure is credited with helping J&J innovate--and keep overall growth coming. But that autonomy may have figured into the repeated recalls at McNeil Consumer Healthcare, plus additional recalls at entirely different units.

J&J backed off of a companywide quality-control program several years ago; when Weldon announced his initial response to the current quality woes, he put some centralized oversight in place again. Is that new supervision of the supply chain and manufacturing enough? Expect Weldon to address that question--and many others--tomorrow.

- read the WSJ piece
- get more from the NYT