J&J's new CEO Joaquin Duato: What to know

Outgoing CEO Alex Gorsky cited 'family health reasons' detailing the transition

Johnson & Johnson announced longstanding CEO Alex Gorsky will transition out of the role, with Joaquin Duato set to lead the health care company effective Jan. 3.

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Duato will also join the company's board of directors, and Gorsky will take the role of executive chairman.

FOX Business takes a look at the executive transition. 

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Both the outgoing and incoming CEOs have held decadeslong careers at J&J. Gorsky, who led a 30-year career at J&J, serving as CEO since 2012, cited "family health reasons" in a company statement detailing the transition. Gorsky credited a 25-year working history with the incoming CEO; Duato’s most recent role with J&J is vice chairman of the executive committee, helping guide strategic planning and overseeing a tech transformation over the last year.

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Johnson & Johnson Vice President and Worldwide Chairman Pharmaceuticals Joaquin Duato attends a news conference at Actelion headquarters in Allschwil, Switzerland, Jan. 26, 2017. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann (REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann / Reuters Photos)

COVID-19 HANDS-ON

While Gorsky took some heat for J&J trailing rivals Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna in the vaccine fight amid its dose, which was reported to have side effects, Duato was hands-on internally driving pandemic efforts. 

Duato "also oversaw the company’s rapid response to the COVID-19 pandemic and led coordination of global initiatives to safeguard the health of employees and ensure business and supply chain continuity," according to the company release posted Thursday.

Duato’s career at J&J, exceeding 30 years, has encompassed "multiple business sectors, geographies and functions," and his current role involves "strategic direction for the Pharmaceutical and Consumer Health sectors (a $60 billion portfolio)" and he also "oversees the Global Supply Chain, Technology and Health & Wellness teams."

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Duato was credited for driving growth and profits during a two-year collaboration with the Consumer Health leadership team to pivot the sector around a new focus on professionally endorsed brands grounded in science. 

"I am honored to serve as Johnson & Johnson’s next CEO," Duato said in a statement. "Our Company has an unmatched health care platform: we are a global pharmaceutical leader with a robust pipeline of transformational and innovative medicines, our Medical Device business is at the forefront of applying cutting-edge technology to deliver physician and patient-centric products and solutions and our Consumer Health business continues to evolve its portfolio of iconic heritage brands and innovative growth brands. As the world continues to face significant health challenges, including the ongoing pandemic, I am inspired by Johnson & Johnson’s opportunity to play a key role in meaningfully improving the global trajectory of human health."

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Duato also thanked Gorsky for his "outstanding leadership" in his statement. 

Duato has dual citizenship between the U.S. and Spain, and is involved with boards such as UNICEF USA, Tsinghua University School of Pharmaceutical Sciences and the Hess Corporation, is past chair of PhRMA and executive sponsor of J&J’s African Ancestry Leadership Council. He holds an MBA from ESADE in Barcelona and a master's of international management from Thunderbird in Phoenix, Ariz.