Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) is among the oldest and most prestigious American companies which still exist today. 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 still remains 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.

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.

According to the company's 2017 annual report, the number of pending product liability lawsuits against Johnson and Johnson continues to increase. 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. 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 27, 2018, Gorsky holds 2.3 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 2013, Gorsky was named the CEO and chairman of JNJ, where he continues to serve.

Dominic Caruso

The second-largest individual shareholder of JNJ is Dominic Caruso with 1.26 million shares, according to the company's most recent SEC filing from February 27, 2018. Caruso went to work for JNJ in 1999 after the health care company acquired Centocor Inc., where he was the senior vice president of finance. Since 2005, Caruso has served as JNJ’s vice president of group finance. In 2007, Caruso was named chief financial officer (CFO) and executive vice president. Caruso continues his role as CFO and executive vice president of finance in 2018.

Joaquin Duato

Joaquin Duato is the third-largest individual shareholder of JNJ with 624,456 shares as of February 27, 2018. 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 fourth-largest individual shareholder of JNJ with 202,564 shares, as of February 2018. Stoffels has served as JNJ’s chief scientific officer since October 2012 and was named executive vice president in May 2016. Dr. Stoffels is also JNJ’s global head of pharmaceutical research and development (R&D). Outside of JNJ, Dr. Stoffels is a member of the scientific advisory board of Index Life V and specializes in infectious disease treatment and tropical diseases.

Sandra E. Peterson

As of February 27, 2018, Sandra Peterson holds 454,791 shares of JNJ, making her the fifth-largest individual shareholder. Peterson is the group worldwide chair of the company, responsible for Johnson & Johnson's consumer and medical device businesses. She is also on the board of directors of Microsoft (MSFT) and a member of the Board of Trustees, Institute for Advanced Study, which is a global leader in theoretical research and intellectual inquiry.

Before joining Johnson & Johnson, Peterson served as chairman & CEO of Bayer CropScience AG in Germany. She also served as CEO of Bayer Medical Care and president of Bayer HealthCare AG’s Diabetes Care Division. Before that, she held leadership roles at Medco Health Solutions, Nabisco, Whirlpool Corporation, and McKinsey & Company. Peterson has been listed on Fortune magazine’s list of The Most Powerful Women multiple times.