J&J chief's back surgery delays House testimony

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) CEO Bill Weldon (photo) will be recuperating instead of testifying next Thursday, when the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing about the recent McNeil recalls.

Weldon had back surgery on Wednesday, according to company spokeswoman Carol Goodrich. J&J will send Worldwide Chairman of the Consumer Group Colleen Goggins to the hearing instead, and Weldon is willing to talk about the recalled products "at a later date," Reuters reports.

Weldon was the first asked to testify at the May 27 hearing, according to a May 14 release from the committee. FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg (photo) is also on the invite list.

Committee Chairman Edolphus Towns (D-NY) has said that the hearing will proceed as scheduled. However, ranking member Darrell Issa (R-CA) requested that it be postponed. In addition to Weldon's absence, the FDA hasn't completed its inspection of the McNeil facilities, he says. The agency probe was broadened to all of McNeil's manufacturing operations.

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