Johnson & Johnson split update: Former CVS head named to new board

Dawn Furnas//August 25, 2022//

Johnson & Johnson split update: Former CVS head named to new board

Dawn Furnas//August 25, 2022//

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Larry Merlo

Johnson & Johnson provided an update Aug. 24 on its planned separation, including naming former CVS Health President and CEO Larry Merlo as non-executive chair designate of the future New Consumer Health Co. 

According to the announcement, the split into two companies – the new Johnson & Johnson and the New Consumer Health Co. – is still expected to be complete in 2023, subject to legal requirements. 

Merlo will formally assume his new role at that time. Additional directors will be determined and announced later, the company said. 

In preparation for the split, the New Brunswick-headquartered company has been announcing new executives, including Thibaut Mongon as chief executive officer designate and Paul Ruh as chief financial officer designate of the future New Consumer Health Co. 

The company also announced in May that Kurt Van den Bosch would serve as chief financial officer, group finance, for the rebranding medical devices division, Johnson & Johnson MedTech. 

More on the separation 

The split is intended to “[i]ncrease management focus, resources, agility and speed to effectively address differing industry trends and to better meet the needs of … patients and consumers,” according to J&J.

Additional goals include further focusing capital allocation; providing each company with a compelling financial profile; and aligning corporate and operational structures so each company is better able to drive growth. 

The New Consumer Health Co. will oversee brands such as Neutrogena, Aveeno, Tylenol, Listerine, Johnson’s and Band-Aid. 

The new Johnson & Johnson will continue to focus on research and development, including pharmaceutical and medical device capabilities. 

Meet Merlo 

Bringing more than 30 years of health industry leadership to the board, Merlo served as president and CEO of CVS Health from 2011 to 2021. During his tenure, the company completed multiple acquisitions. 

He previously served as a board member for CVS Health, America’s Health Insurance Plans, National Association of Chain Drug Stores the Partnership for Rhode Island and Business Roundtable.  

Fun fact

Larry Merlo was recognized by President Barack Obama during the 2015 State of the Union for CVS’ apprenticeship programs and workforce initiatives. 

Merlo, who graduated from the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy, also serves on that university’s board of trustees and formerly chaired the research and innovation committee.  

“On behalf of the Board, I am pleased to welcome Larry as Chair Designate of the planned New Consumer Health Company,” Alex Gorsky, Johnson & Johnson executive chairman, said in a statement. “A purpose-driven leader, Larry’s experience in the fast-paced health retail sector will be a strong asset to the leadership team as they unlock value and deliver for consumers as a standalone company.” 

Mongon added that Merlo has always “placed the health and wellness of people first.” 

“Larry’s in-depth knowledge of health and consumer trends, combined with his values-based leadership approach, are aligned with our commitment to help improve the personal health of people around the world,” Mongon added. “I look forward to our partnership as we work towards the planned separation and set the course for the future of Consumer Health.” 

Merlo added that, “[w]ith an iconic portfolio of consumer health brands, legacy of scientific rigor, category-creating innovation, and a digital-first mindset, there is no doubt that the planned New Consumer Health Company will be an industry force.”