|Born||1960 (age 62–63)|
Kansas City, Kansas
|Education||United States Military Academy (BS)|
Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania (MBA)
Alex Gorsky (born 1960) is an American businessman and the executive chairman of Johnson & Johnson. He is the seventh person who served as chair and chief executive officer of Johnson & Johnson since it became a publicly traded company in 1944. Gorsky stepped down as CEO at Johnson & Johnson in January 2022 and was succeeded by Joaquin Duato.
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 in Kansas City, Kansas. When he was 12, his family moved to Fremont, Michigan, where his father, a Korean War veteran, took a job as a marketing executive for Gerber Foods. In high school, Gorsky was captain of the varsity football team, assuming positions as quarterback and linebacker. He was also captain of the swimming team.
In 1977, as a member of Boy's State, Gorsky was chosen to represent Michigan at the Boy's Nation national conference. 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. 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. 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.
Gorsky earned his Master of Business Administration from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1996.
Gorsky joined Johnson & Johnson in 1988 as a sales representative in its pharmaceutical business unit, Janssen Pharmaceuticals. He held various management and leadership roles at Janssen before becoming Company Group Chairman overseeing Europe, Middle East, and Africa in 2003.
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.
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. During his tenure, he created the CEO Diversity & Inclusion Award. He oversaw the growth of its cardiovascular and other franchises.
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. 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.
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.
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.
"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.
Gorsky was the executive sponsor of the J&J Women's Leadership Initiative and the Veteran's Leadership Council. 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.
Gorsky was the speaker at The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania 2022 MBA Graduation Ceremony.
Gorsky is a member of The Business Council's Executive Committee and served as the Chair of the Business Roundtable Corporate Governance Committee. Since 2014, Gorsky has been on the Board of Directors at IBM. Gorsky is a board member at Apple, Inc., JPMorgan Chase, and the National Academy Foundation. He is on the advisory board at Thayer Leader Development Group at West Point, 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. Gorsky is Vice Chairman of the Travis Manion Foundation. Gorsky was on the American Manufacturing Council, and was a member of the American Heart Association CEO Roundtable.