On Jan. 3, 2022, Duato will take over as CEO of New Brunswick-based pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson, replacing Alex Gorsky. His elevation comes at a critical time for the company – a pivotal time, in fact. J&J, of course, remains on the front lines of the fight against COVID-19 as the producer of one of the three vaccines in use across the country.
Duato is already familiar with that effort. In his current role, he oversaw J&J’s initial response to the crisis and coordinated global efforts to protect the health of employees, ensure business and supply chain continuity and accelerate vaccine development.
But that’s just the beginning. J&J is in the process of splitting into two publicly traded companies, one focused on pharmaceuticals and medical devices and the other on consumer health. Duato’s main task will be to make sure the company continues to innovate during the transition and then stick the landing – putting each entity on course to succeed on its own.
The process is expected to take 18 to 24 months. It will be one of the most-watched business developments in New Jersey over that time.