Weldon: J&J's recall probe almost wrapped

What have the investigators found at Johnson & Johnson? The answers to that question will come soon, CEO Bill Weldon (photo) tells the Financial Times in another interview apparently aimed at polishing up his company's tarnished reputation. An internal report, which will incorporate probes by J&J executives and independent experts, is almost wrapped and should be complete later this month, he says.

The report is designed to identify the trip-ups that caused a series of recalls, concentrated at first in J&J's consumer health division, but broadened to other units since then. Weldon recently announced a new quality-control initiative, in which a vice-president will oversee compliance for all of J&J's many divisions. But as Fortune points out, that approach is oddly similar to J&J's previous quality-control apparatus--one that was abandoned several years ago during Weldon's tenure as CEO.

Meanwhile, Weldon has been chatting with various publications, talking up J&J's commitment to fixing its troubles. Analysts are skeptical that interviews and promises will be enough to counter the steady drumbeat of recall notices. And, as Weldon himself tells the FT, the company may still face criminal action; FDA referred its McNeil file to its criminal investigation office, while federal prosecutors have launched their own probes.

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