Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) is among the oldest and most prestigious American companies. Founded in 1886 by three brothers—Robert, James, and Edward Johnson—the company was established in New Brunswick, N.J. While Johnson & Johnson has changed over its long history, the company continues to be a key innovator and pioneer in the health care sector. The company was the first to standardize and mass-produce first aid kits, maternity kits, feminine products, and dental floss, all before 1900.
In Nov. 2021, Johnson & Johnson announced it would divide into two publicly-traded companies—one includes the pharmaceutical and medical devices businesses and the other will comprise the consumer products business.
- The top individual shareholder of Johnson and Johnson is executive chairman Alex Gorsky with 3.2 million shares.
- Joaquin Duato—J&J's chief executive officer—is the second-largest individual shareholder with one million shares.
- Paulus Stoffels, Ph.D., is the third-largest individual shareholder with almost 872,000 shares. Stoffels is JNJ’s former chief scientific officer.
- Jennifer Taubert is a leader within J&J's pharmaceutical research division and is the fourth-largest shareholder with nearly 454,000 shares.
- The fifth-largest individual shareholder of J&J is CFO, Joseph J. Wolk with just over 100,000 shares.
Undertsanding Johnson & Johnson
On July 12, 2018, a Missouri jury ordered that the company pay $4.69 billion to 22 women who accused the company's talc-based products, including its baby powder, of containing asbestos and causing them to develop ovarian cancer. In 2017, lawsuits were mostly filed in state courts in Missouri, New Jersey, and California.
The company denies both that its talc products cause cancer and that they have ever contained asbestos. However, the company still faces thousands of pending lawsuits. In April 2020, a U.S. District judge from New Jersey made a decision regarding the expert witnesses that can be called by both sides. The decision paves the way for the trial to proceed in which J&J faces thousands of allegations from those claiming that the company's talcum powder causes cancer.
The 38,000 lawsuits filed against Johnson & Johnson related to the baby powder, however, have been halted as of November 2021. The case is delayed for two months and will be heard in the company’s headquarters in New Jersey. The company has removed its talc powder from store shelves in the U.S. and Canada.
Despite the company's legal challenges, J&J developed a single-shot COVID-19 vaccine.
The Top 5 Johnson & Johnson Shareholders
Below are the top five individual shareholders of Johnson and Johnson.
Johnson & Johnson’s executive chairman, Alex Gorsky, is the largest individual shareholder. As of Feb. 23, 2021, Gorsky holds 3.2 million shares.
Gorsky originally joined JNJ back in 1988 as a sales representative and rose through the ranks of the company. He was named company group chair of JNJ’s pharmaceutical arm and president of Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of JNJ by 2003.
However, Gorsky left JNJ in 2004 after being named the leader of Novartis AG's (NYSE: NVS) pharmaceutical business. After his brief stint at Novartis, Gorsky returned to JNJ in 2008 as a group chair for Ethicon Inc. By 2012, Gorsky was named the CEO and chair of JNJ, where he continues to serve.
Joaquin Duato is the second-largest individual shareholder of JNJ with 1,041,512 shares as of February 2021. Duato currently serves as the company's chief executive officer, a position he has held since 2021. He has been with the company for almost three decades.
Paulus Stoffels, Ph.D., is the third-largest individual shareholder of JNJ with 871,800 shares, as of February 2021. Stoffels served as JNJ’s chief scientific officer since October 2012 and was named executive vice president in May 2016 before retiring in December 2021.
Outside of JNJ, Stoffel specializes in infectious disease treatment and tropical diseases.
Jennifer Taubert is the fourth-largest individual shareholder of JNJ with just over 453,000 shares. She is the executive vice president and worldwide chair of JNJ's Pharmaceuticals. Taubert is a member of the corporation’s executive committee and leads the Pharmaceuticals Group Operating Committee.
Taubert has been a leader within Johnson & Johnson’s pharmaceutical research division, which is called Janssen Research and Development (JRD). Janssen is a consistent and significant contributor to Johnson & Johnson’s overall growth strategy. Janssen is responsible for innovative pharmaceutical developments, including helping the fight against immune-related diseases, HIV, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and mental illness.
Joseph J. Wolk
The fifth-largest individual shareholder of J&J is Joseph J. Wolk with almost 101,000 shares. Wolk is the executive vice president and chief financial officer (CFO) for Johnson & Johnson. Wolk is charged with developing, leading, and executing JNJ’s global long-term financial strategy.
As the CFO, Joe Wolk leads J&J's Finance and Procurement organizations and leads nearly 9,000 JNJ team employees worldwide. Wolk was appointed CFO in July of 2018 but has been with Johnson & Johnson for 23 years, including as VP of Investor Relations, which involves building strong relationships with J&J investors.