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J&J announces CEO is replacing Weldon on board of directors

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The William C. Weldon era at Johnson & Johnson will officially come to an end next month, when he will step down as chairman of its board of directors, the company said today.

In an announcement, the New Brunswick-based health care giant said Alex Gorsky, who in April succeeded Weldon as CEO, was elected the board’s new chairman. Weldon will relinquish the post Dec. 28, with plans to fully retire in the first quarter of 2013, following a brief transition period.

The CEO of 10 years will retire after a 41-year career with the company.

Gorsky, a former vice chairman and head of its medical device and diagnostics units, took the reins in April during a challenging time for J&J. The company in recent years has dealt with several product recalls, mostly tied to manufacturing problems.

In today’s announcement, J&J also said it would enhance the board’s governance structure by expanding the duties and responsibilities of its independent presiding director. The expansion will include more involvement in stakeholder communications, board and executive performance evaluations, agenda setting, and succession planning.

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