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A Historic and Inspiring Annual Shareholders Meeting

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Earlier today, we held our Annual Meeting of Shareholders, hosting approximately 1,800 shareholders, retirees and employees in New Brunswick, N.J.   You can watch a replay of the meeting on our website and read a recap of the voting results in an earlier blog post by our Corporate Secretary, Doug Chia.

This was my first opportunity to attend the meeting in person, but that wasn’t the only reason it was a historic event!  Johnson & Johnson welcomed its seventh CEO in our history as Alex Gorsky assumed responsibility of incoming CEO from Bill Weldon, who will remain Chairman of the Board.  It was a unique honor to be present for the transition from Mr. Weldon, who has led Johnson & Johnson steadfastly for the past 10 years to Mr. Gorsky, who promised to “bring all my heart and soul to the role of CEO.”  As he passed the leadership mantle, Weldon remarked that he is “confident that Johnson & Johnson will continue shaping and leading the future of health care and advancing the health and well being of people around the world.”

You can read more about our history of leadership on the Kilmer House blog.

Although the transition of leadership was the highlight of the meeting, we also shared news and notable achievements from our three business sectors, as well as looked ahead to Johnson & Johnson’s next chapter.  In addition, we announced that Johnson & Johnson will raise the quarterly dividend to shareholders for the 50th consecutive year.

A Vision for the Future
As incoming CEO, Alex took some time to share his vision for the future of the company, stressing first and foremost that “Our Credo will remain at the core of what drives our actions. It reflects our values, our beliefs, and our aspirations. It defines our core responsibilities to our stakeholders. It enables us to make a real, lasting and profound difference in the world.”

He recognized the dynamic nature of global healthcare and acknowledged the rapid and dramatic pace of change.  “How people around the world achieve good health in a sustainable manner is likely to be the most significant challenge for our generation.” He then outlined the central themes that will help us address the changing environment and stay successful for the long-term – bringing meaningful innovations to patients; staying true to our values; remaining dedicated to being broadly based in human healthcare; preserving decentralization as a way to stay close to patients and customers; and managing for the long term.

Sharing Stories
During the meeting, Alex shared several stories about patients, customers and our employees as a way of conveying the importance of what we do and what we stand for as a company.  You can watch some of these stories and see for yourself how they touch the essence of why we are so committed to the work we do every day:

Sarah Oliver: bouncing back strong after injury
Late last year Sarah Oliver was climbing a tree in her neighborhood, something she had done countless times before. But this time something went very wrong.
A husband’s gift: safeguarding a kidney transplant
Recently, surgeons at the University of California San Diego Medical Center successfully performed a life-saving kidney transplant -- transferring a kidney from a husband to his wife.

Giving back: Ethicon supports Operation Smile
Operation Smile is a children's charity that uses medical volunteers... provide free surgeries... to children around the world... born with severe cleft palette conditions

To see more stories, check out our Johnson & Johnson Health Channel on YouTube.

New Opportunities Ahead
“I am proud, humbled and extremely energized to have your confidence, trust and support in leading this great organization into the future,” Alex said as he closed out the meeting. “With Our Credo directing us and our employees providing the skill, knowledge and passion, the challenges of global health and well-being become opportunities for Johnson & Johnson.”

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