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Spotlight

Alex Gorsky

Johnson & Johnson, the maker of everything from baby shampoo and Band-Aids to contact lenses and hip implants, just tapped a longtime insider as its new CEO, said Katie Thomas in The New York Times. Alex Gorsky, 51, who will take over the health-products giant in April, has to get right to work repairing a corporate reputation battered by “manufacturing lapses, government inquiries, and recalls” of popular products like Infants’ Tylenol. Gorsky got his start as someone who “carried the bag”—industry slang for a pharmaceutical sales representative—and he’s known as a “polished speaker and an intense yet likable manager.” But beginning in 2009, he oversaw the company’s medical-device division, when “critical decisions were made about an artificial hip implant that has failed in thousands of patients, crippling some of them.”

Many Johnson & Johnson watchers were betting that Sheri McCoy, who leads the pharmaceuticals and consumer divisions, would get the top spot, said Patricia Sellers in Fortune.com. But the board decided that “Gorsky’s No. 1 strength” is execution, a plus given the company’s current troubles. He has “earned points for digging into manufacturing and supply-chain troubles” in the past, and as a West Point grad and former Army Ranger, he’s been trained for toughness.

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