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J&J Names Bayer Executive Sandra Peterson Group Worldwide Chairman


Drug and healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) said Thursday that it has appointed Bayer AG (BYR.L,BAYRY.PK,BAYZF.PK) executive Sandra Peterson to the newly-created role of group worldwide chairman.

Her appointment, effective December 1, 2012, is part of Johnson & Johnson Chief Executive Officer Alex Gorksy's efforts to resolve issues at the company's troubled consumer health and manufacturing operations.

In her new role, Peterson will be responsible for the Consumer Group of Companies, Information Technology, and Global Supply Chain. She will also be a member of J&J's executive committee.

Peterson, aged 52, is currently the chairman and CEO of Europe-based Bayer CropScience AG, a unit of Bayer AG. She has diverse and relevant global experience in pharmaceuticals, medical devices, consumer goods, healthcare intermediaries and strategy development.

Commenting on the appointment, Alex Gorsky, Chief Executive Officer of J&J said, "Sandi Peterson is an experienced global leader known for her strategic thinking and proven track record in growing businesses. She brings 25 years of experience to her new role, which will draw on her expertise in building fully integrated global businesses, and focusing on growth."

Peterson has held the current role at Bayer since 2010. Previously, she was president and CEO of Bayer Medical Care and president of Bayer HealthCare AG's Diabetes Care Division.

Prior to joining Bayer in 2005, Peterson spent five years in leadership roles at Medco Health Solutions. She previously led global research and development, procurement and regulatory affairs at Nabisco, Inc., and in strategy, finance and product development at Whirlpool Corp. (WHR). She began her career in consulting, with McKinsey & Co., Inc.

Currently residing in Germany, Peterson will be based at J&J's headquarters in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

J&J's former chairman and CEO William Weldon stepped down from the post of CEO in April and was succeeded by Alex Gorsky as the ninth CEO of the 126-year-old company.

The management change at J&J came even as the company's financial performance and reputation were hurt by a series of product recalls ranging from over-the-counter medicines to hip-replacement products, and government probes.

The New Jersey-based maker of Listerine antiseptic mouth-rinse, Acuvue contact lenses and Band Aid is also grappling with generic competition that have impacted its revenues. The company has been trying to offset the effects of generics by sprucing up its other products, as well as foraying into vaccines.

In mid-July, J&J reported a sharp decline in its second-quarter profit, hurt by significant charges.

J&J is facing several suits in many states, which alleges that the company marketed schizophrenia drug Risperdal to patients and for conditions not approved by FDA. J&J is also alleged to have inflated the cost of Risperdal thereby causing undue loss.

In April, an Arkansas Court slapped a fine of more than $1.1 billion on J&J, after it was found guilty of using dubious means to push Risperdal in the state.

In Thursday's regular session, JNJ is trading at $68.54, up $0.39 or 0.57 percent on a volume of 1.69 million shares.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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