Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), a multinational manufacturer of consumer and healthcare products said its board of directors appointed its chief executive officer Alex Gorsky to become chairman of the company.

Alex Gorsky

He will succeed the current chairman, Bill Weldon, effective December 28. Weldon served as chairman and chief executive officer of Johnson & Johnson for more than 10 years. Last April 26, Gorsky was elected CEO of the company, while Weldon retained his position as chairman.

Prior to his appointment as CEO, Gorsky served as vice chairman of the company. He was appointed vice chairman in January 2011. He started his career in Johnson & Johnson as a sales representative for Jannsen Pharmaceutica in 1988.

According to Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), Weldon served the company for 41 years. He will retire during the first quarter next year.

In a statement Weldon said, “Serving as Chairman and CEO of Johnson & Johnson has been a privilege, and I am confident in Alex’s ability to lead the people of Johnson & Johnson to even greater achievements. I would like to thank the people of Johnson & Johnson for all their commitment and dedication to patients and customers they serve. They bring to life the hope and promise of better treatments, cures, health, and well-being for those who use our products. It has been an honor to work with them.”

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) said Gorsky will assume additional leadership responsibilities in the company as CEO and chairman of the company.

Gorsky acknowledged the valuable contributions and leadership of Weldon as chairman of the company. According to him, he is honored to succeed Weldon in his position.

“Bill’s leadership and contributions to Johnson & Johnson over a 41-year career leave us well-positioned to continue addressing the world’s most prevalent diseases and unmet needs in health care. Our financial strength, global reach, and innovations that help people live longer, healthier lives are a proud legacy for Bill and a strong foundation for the future of Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ),” said Gorsky.

In addition, he said that Weldon’s advocacy for patients and a strong sense of corporate values will have a lasting influence in Johnson & Johnson and within the industry.

On the other hand, Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) presiding director James Cullen said the board of directors of the company spent a thoughtful and rigorous consideration in its governance structure before deciding that Gorsky is capable of assuming as chairman and CEO. According to him, the stakeholders of the company will benefit from Gorsky’s strong leadership.

According to the company, it will also expand the duties and responsibilities of the presiding director including more involvement in stakeholder communications, board and executive performance evaluations, agenda-setting, and succession planning. The title of the presiding director will be changed to lead director.