Alex Gorsky
Born1960 (age 63–64)[1]
EducationUnited States Military Academy (BS)
University of Pennsylvania (MBA)
Years active1988–2022
SpousePatricia Gorsky

Alex Gorsky (born 1960) is an American businessman. He is the former chairman and CEO of Johnson & Johnson. Gorsky stepped down as CEO of Johnson & Johnson in January 2022 and was succeeded by Joaquin Duato. He was the seventh person who served as the company's chairman and chief executive officer since it became a publicly traded company in 1944. He is a board director of Apple.[2]

Early life and education

Gorsky's grandparents immigrated to the United States from Russia and Croatia. Gorsky was born the third of six children of Albert and Loretta (née Bartolac) Gorsky[3] in Kansas City, Kansas.[4] When he was 12, his family moved to Fremont, Michigan,[1] where his father, a Korean War veteran, took a job as a marketing executive for Gerber Foods.[1] In high school, Gorsky was captain of the varsity football team, assuming positions as quarterback and linebacker.[1] He was also captain of the swimming team.[1]

In 1977, as a member of Boy's State, Gorsky was chosen to represent Michigan at the Boy's Nation national conference.[5] In the same year, Congressman Guy Vander Jagt nominated Gorsky to attend the United States Military Academy at West Point. In 1981, Gorsky was one of the cadets chosen for the Army Ranger School where he earned a Ranger Tab.[6] In May 1982, when Gorsky graduated from West Point with a Bachelor of Science degree, he joined the Artillery Branch of the U.S Army. As lieutenant at the age of 22, he led an artillery platoon.[7] After six years as an officer, serving in Europe and Panama, he became captain in 1987. In 1988, Gorsky married Patricia Dittrich, a hospital nurse in Carmel, California. Gorsky left the Army in 1988.[4]

Gorsky earned his Master of Business Administration from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1996.[1]



Gorsky joined Johnson & Johnson in 1988 as a sales representative in its pharmaceutical business unit, Janssen Pharmaceuticals.[1] He held various management and leadership roles at Janssen before becoming Company Group Chairman overseeing Europe, Middle East, and Africa in 2003.[4]

Gorsky led the marketing of products such as Risperdal. Ultimately Johnson & Johnson was fined $2.2 billion for strategies that downplayed the drug's side effects, encouraged off-label use, and provided kickback payments to Omnicare, a company that provided drug services to nursing homes.[8]


Gorsky joined the Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation in 2004 as chief operating officer and head of General Medicines. In 2005, he was appointed Head of Pharmaceuticals North America and Chief Executive Officer.[9] During his tenure, he created the CEO Diversity & Inclusion Award. He oversaw the growth of its cardiovascular and other franchises.[10]

Johnson & Johnson

Gorsky returned to Johnson & Johnson in 2008 when he was appointed company group chairman for Ethicon, Inc. In September 2009, he was promoted to worldwide chairman, medical devices & diagnostics. Then-CEO William C. Weldon chose Gorsky to be vice chairman in the Office of the Chairman.[11] On April 26, 2012, Gorsky was appointed Chief Executive Officer. On December 28, 2012, Gorsky was appointed chairman of the board. A longtime advocate of diversity and inclusion, Gorsky was named one of the "100 Most Inspiring Leaders" by Pharma Voice.[11][12]

Gorsky oversaw the company's legal defense against talc class action suits and opioid lawsuits. In January 2020, Gorsky testified at the New Jersey trial about Johnson & Johnson's baby powder product.[13]

Under Gorsky's leadership, the company stock more than tripled, and averaged more than a 15% annual return, surpassing the S&P 500. Johnson & Johnson's market capitalization went from nearly $180 billion to more than $470 billion.[14]

"As the world's largest health care company, we are bringing to bear our best scientific minds, and rigorous standards of safety, in collaboration with regulators, to accelerate the fight against this pandemic," Gorsky said in New Jersey Business magazine in 2020. Gorsky attributed the strong multilayered immune response from J&J's vaccine to its innovative adenovirus-vector platform, AdVac, which it has developed over a decade.[15]

Gorsky was the executive sponsor of the J&J Women's Leadership Initiative and the Veteran's Leadership Council.[16] In 2021, with a salary of $23.14 million, he ranked second on the list of highest-paid CEOs in healthcare, according to Becker's Hospital Review.[17]

Gorsky was the speaker at The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania 2022 MBA Graduation Ceremony.[18]

Other roles

Gorsky is a member of The Business Council's executive committee[19] and served as the chair of the Business Roundtable Corporate Governance Committee.[20] Since 2014, Gorsky has been on the board of directors at IBM.[21][22] Gorsky is a board member at Apple, Inc.,[23] JPMorgan Chase,[24] and the National Academy Foundation.[25] He is on the advisory board at Thayer Leader Development Group at West Point,[26] and is Co-Chair of the Strategic Investor Initiative (SII) advisory board at Chief Executives for Corporate Purpose (CECP). Gorsky is a member of the Bipartisan Policy Center's CEO Council on Health and Innovation and of The Wharton Leadership Advisory Board.[27] Gorsky is vice chairman of the Travis Manion Foundation.[16] Gorsky was on the American Manufacturing Council,[28][29] and was a member of the American Heart Association CEO Roundtable.[30]

Philanthropy and awards


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Norton, Leslie P. "Embracing the J&J Credo". Retrieved 2022-09-28.
  2. ^ "Alex Gorsky joins Apple's board of directors".
  3. ^ "Obituary for LORETTA R GORSKY, 1931-2003 (Aged 72)". The Kansas City Star. 2003-12-07. p. 31. Retrieved 2022-10-12.
  4. ^ a b c Rice, Daniel E. (2013). West Point Leadership: Profiles of Courage, Leadership Development Foundation (1st ed.). Leadership Development Foundation. p. 378. ISBN 978-0-9891473-0-9.
  5. ^ "Past Boys Nation Delegates – American Legion Michigan Boys State". 13 December 2017. Retrieved 2022-09-28.
  6. ^ Young, Valerie (28 March 2016). "Rising through the ranks: Johnson & Johnson CEO Alex Gorsky". TheStreet. Retrieved 2022-09-28.
  7. ^ "Bloomberg Big Decisions: Johnson & Johnson CEO Alex Gorsky". 22 March 2018. Retrieved 2022-09-28.
  8. ^ Singer, Natasha (2010-01-15). "Johnson & Johnson Accused of Drug Kickbacks". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2022-10-04.
  9. ^ "Novartis's Alex Gorsky: Ensuring that Patients Get Access to the Medicines They Need". Knowledge at Wharton. Retrieved 2022-10-04.
  10. ^ "Novartis' North American pharma head resigns". Medical Marketing and Media. 2008-02-14. Retrieved 2022-10-04.
  11. ^ a b Kuehner-Hebert, Katie (2017-10-30). "J&J Continues To Innovate Under Chairman/CEO Alex Gorsky". Retrieved 2022-09-28.
  12. ^ "Johnson & Johnson tops the diversity board". 2020-05-17. Retrieved 2022-10-04.
  13. ^ "J&J chief testifies he did not read all documents related to asbestos in talc". Reuters. 2020-01-27. Retrieved 2022-10-04.
  14. ^ "Johnson & Johnson taps Duato as new CEO, replacing Gorsky". Fortune. Retrieved 2022-10-04.
  15. ^ Finley, Allysia (2021-03-19). "Opinion | Capitalism Is What Will Defeat Covid". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2022-10-04.
  16. ^ a b "Alex Gorsky | Travis Manion Foundation". Retrieved 2022-10-04.
  17. ^ "18 highest-paid CEOs in healthcare". 21 April 2021. Retrieved 2022-10-04.
  18. ^ "Homepage". Graduation Ceremonies. Retrieved 2022-10-04.
  19. ^ Gorsky. "Alex". The Business Council. Retrieved 2022-09-28.
  20. ^ "Business Roundtable". Retrieved 2022-09-28.
  21. ^ "IBM Adds Johnson & Johnson CEO, Retired Shell Chief to Board". 30 July 2014. Retrieved 2022-09-28.
  22. ^ "Meet the board". Retrieved 2022-09-28.
  23. ^ "Alex Gorsky joins Apple's board of directors". Apple Newsroom. Retrieved 2022-09-28.
  24. ^ "JPMorgan adds former J&J chief Gorsky to board". Reuters. 2022-07-19. Retrieved 2022-10-04.
  25. ^ "NAF Board of Directors - Be Future Ready - Transforming High School Education". NAF. Retrieved 2022-10-04.
  26. ^ "Alex Gorsky - Thayer Leadership". Retrieved 2022-10-04.
  27. ^ "The Council | CEO Council". Retrieved 2022-09-28.
  28. ^ Monllos, Kristina (August 16, 2017). "Trump Shuts Down Manufacturing Council After More CEOs Resign in Protest". Retrieved 2022-09-28.
  29. ^ Glazer, Vanessa Fuhrmans, Joann S. Lublin and Emily (2017-08-20). "Trump and the CEOs: Behind the Collapse of an Uneasy Alliance". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2022-09-28.((cite news)): CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  30. ^ a b Macias, Luis (2019-03-06). "American Heart Association CEO Roundtable delivers roadmap to help employers confront America's mental health crisis". CEO Roundtable. Retrieved 2022-09-28.
  31. ^ "Unprecedented $10M Gifted To Doylestown Health". Doylestown, PA Patch. 2017-12-04. Retrieved 2022-09-28.
  32. ^ "2009 Alex Gorsky | HBA". Retrieved 2022-09-28.
  33. ^ "2014 Joseph Wharton Award for Leadership". The Wharton Club of New York Magazine. Retrieved 2022-09-28.
  34. ^ "Awards | CADCA". 28 February 2022. Retrieved 2022-10-04.
  35. ^ "Operation Smile to Honor Johnson & Johnson Chairman & CEO Alex Gorsky, Philanthropist Barbara Majeski and More at 13th Annual Smile Event". (Press release). Retrieved 2022-09-28.
  36. ^ "L'Oréal's, Jean-Paul Agon receives 2022 Appeal of Conscience Award". Premium Beauty News. Retrieved 2022-10-04.
  37. ^ "The Citizen Newspaper Group". Retrieved 2022-10-04.
  38. ^ "Colin Kaepernick Came Out to Honor Harry Belafonte at the Ripple of Hope Awards". Vanity Fair. 2017-12-14. Retrieved 2022-09-28.
  39. ^ "Office of Institutional Advancement". Retrieved 2022-09-28.
  40. ^ "Chairman and CEO of Johnson & Johnson Alex Gorsky Receives DiversityInc's Inaugural Global Inclusive Leaders Award". DiversityInc. 2018-05-04. Retrieved 2022-09-28.
  41. ^ "Trustees Approve Honorary Doctorate Recipients". Retrieved 2022-09-28.
  42. ^ "West Point Association of Graduates". Retrieved 2022-09-28.
  43. ^ "Presenting the 2020 Manufacturing Power 50". NJBIZ. 2020-12-14. Retrieved 2022-10-04.
  44. ^ "VIRTUAL Yale CEO Summit: 2022's Promise for Business: Achieving Social Harmony with Health and Prosperity | Yale School of Management". Retrieved 2022-09-28.
  45. ^ "The Red Jacket awards". PharmaVoice. Retrieved 2022-09-28.
  46. ^ "Business Leaders Honor Anthony Fauci, Alex Gorsky and Gen. Gus Perna With 2021 Eisenhower Awards | Business Executives for National Security". 2021-04-26. Retrieved 2022-10-04.
  47. ^ "CEO Today Magazine Healthcare Awards 2022". CEO Today Magazine Healthcare Awards 2022. Retrieved 2022-09-28.

Alex Gorsky Biography