Johnson & Johnson shakeup leaves Joaquin Duato with largest portfolio

duato
Joaquin Duato, already leading Johnson & Johnson's largest unit, has been given significantly more responsibility in a major executive shakeup by CEO Alex Gorsky. (Johnson & Johnson)

The executive pyramid at Johnson & Johnson is going through a significant revamp with head of pharmaceuticals Joaquin Duato taking on most of the responsibilities held by Group Worldwide Chairman Sandra Peterson as she prepares to retire.

Duarto will become a vice chairman of the executive committee on July 2. The pharma unit that Duato currently oversees is already the largest, but he will add J&J’s consumer business along with responsibility for supply chain, IT, global services, and the health and wellness businesses.

The moves come after Duarto and Peterson last year nabbed $9 million each in retention bonuses.

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Along with Duarto, the company promoted Paul Stoffels, M.D., to a vice chairman of the executive committee. Stoffels will oversee pharma R&D, be chief medical officer and be responsible for several other areas. There were several other shifts as well.

"These appointments recognize the enormous talent among the senior leadership team of Johnson & Johnson, and will ensure our continued focus on delivering on our commitments to patients, consumers, employees, our communities and our shareholders," CEO and Chairman Alex Gorsky Gorsky said in a statement.

RELATED: J&J finally grabs Actelion's marketed meds for $30B, with R&D spinoff to come

Among Duarto’s accomplishments outlined in J&J’s proxy that had justified his pay was his leadership in the $30 billion buyout of Actelion, as well as beating J&J’s financial goals for its pharmaceutical unit. Duato has been J&J’s EVP of Pharma since April 2016 and worldwide chairman since 2011.

Among the challenges Duarto faces with his new responsibilities is maintaining faith in J&J's  consumer products in the face of thousands of lawsuits alleging J&J’s talcum powders caused cancer.

Peterson will leave Oct. 1. She was brought on in 2012 after Gorsky got frustrated with manufacturing issues in the consumer business that resulted in the recall of tens of millions of consumer products at a reported cost of $1.6 billion. After straightening out issues there, she was rewarded last year with responsibility of the troubled medical devices unit.  

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