Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: 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, New Jersey. 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.

Johnson & Johnson’s headquarters remain in New Brunswick, New Jersey, but the health care company also conducts business in 60 countries through its vast network of over 250 operating companies.

Key Takeaways

  • The top five individual shareholders of Johnson and Johnson include CEO, Alex Gorsky—the largest shareholder with 2.9 million shares.
  • Joaquin Duato—J&J's executive vice president—is the second-largest individual shareholder with 916,576 shares.
  • Paulus Stoffels, Ph.D., is the third-largest individual shareholder with 739,236 shares. Stoffels is JNJ’s chief scientific officer.
  • Jennifer Taubert is a leader within J&J's pharmaceutical research division and is the fourth-largest shareholder with 402,592 shares.
  • The fifth-largest individual shareholder of J&J is CFO, Joseph J. Wolk with 84,997 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.

Despite the company's legal challenges, J&J continues its development of a COVID-19 vaccine. The company reiterated its commitment to bring an affordable vaccine to the public on a not-for-profit basis for emergency use during the pandemic.

The Top 5 Johnson & Johnson Shareholders

Below are the top five individual shareholders of Johnson and Johnson.

Alex Gorsky

Johnson & Johnson’s chief executive officer (CEO) and chairman of the board of directors, Alex Gorsky, is the largest individual shareholder. As of February 25, 2020, Gorsky holds 2.9 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 chairman 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 chairman for Ethicon Inc. By 2012, Gorsky was named the CEO and chairman of JNJ, where he continues to serve.

Joaquin Duato

Joaquin Duato is the second-largest individual shareholder of JNJ with 916,576 shares as of February 25, 2020. Duato currently serves as the company's executive vice president and worldwide chairman, pharmaceuticals, a position he has held since 2011. He has been with the company for almost three decades. Duato is also a board member of the international charity Save the Children.

Paulus Stoffels

Paulus Stoffels, Ph.D., is the third-largest individual shareholder of JNJ with 739,236 shares, as of February 2020. Stoffels has served as JNJ’s chief scientific officer since October 2012 and was named executive vice president in May 2016. Stoffels is also JNJ’s global head of pharmaceutical research and development (R&D).

Outside of JNJ, Stoffels is a member of the scientific advisory board of Index Life V and specializes in infectious disease treatment and tropical diseases.

Jennifer Taubert

Jennifer Taubert is the fourth-largest individual shareholder of JNJ with 402,592 shares. Jennifer Taubert is the executive vice president and worldwide chairman 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 84,997 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 7,500 JNJ team employees worldwide. Wolk was appointed CFO in July of 2018 but has been with Johnson & Johnson for 20 years, including as VP of Investor Relations, which involves building strong relationships with J&J investors.