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Responding to Divisions Without Divisiveness

Johnson & Johnson's Chairman and CEO outlines how we looked to Our Credo in light of recent events in Charlottesville, Virginia.

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There has been a lot of discussion over the last 48 hours, and I want the world to know where Johnson & Johnson stands on recent events in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Our Credo, which guides us as an organization, calls on us to be responsible to the communities in which we live and work, and to the world community as well. I said yesterday that if we fail to speak out when the situation demands it, then we aren’t being consistent with Our Credo responsibilities.

At that time, I believed the best place to speak out was as a member of the White House Manufacturing Advisory Council, by having a seat at that table. But the president’s remarks yesterday—equating those who are motivated by race-based hate with those who stand up against hatred—were unacceptable.

Good leadership requires being open to new information, and acknowledging that when circumstances change, you must reconsider your position—especially when the issue at hand speaks to your values and the values your organization is built upon.

Therefore, I decided to resign from the White House Manufacturing Advisory Council. Together with other members of the manufacturing council, we decided a united withdrawal would make the most significant impact. By midday today we issued a statement to the media announcing our withdrawal. Nearly simultaneously, President Trump tweeted a statement announcing his decision to disband the council.

Johnson & Johnson has and always will be deeply committed to Our Credo values. And I believe, very strongly, that hatred and bigotry of any kind have no place in our society. Without distraction, we must, and we will, continue to honor our commitment to Our Credo and to creating a better, healthier and more united world. Nothing—no one—will ever get in the way of that.

I invite everyone to read Our Credo, which compels all of us at Johnson & Johnson to make decisions with those we serve in mind.