A Message from Our Lead Director
Dear fellow shareholders,
As our 2022 Annual Meeting draws near, it is my distinct pleasure as your Lead Director to outline the efforts of the Board of Directors to provide robust, independent oversight in furtherance of your interests. Always guided by Our Credo values, members of the Board leverage their diverse backgrounds, skills and experiences to oversee strategy and evaluate performance to ensure the long-term, sustainable success of Johnson & Johnson.
We see opportunity in challenging times. We find ourselves in a period of great change, both inside and outside the Company. Consistent with Johnson & Johnson’s century-plus history of responding to some of the most pressing healthcare challenges, the Company and the Board embrace the opportunity to continue to adapt and evolve to manage risk, drive growth, and, most significantly, meaningfully advance Our Purpose to blend our heart, science and ingenuity to profoundly change the trajectory of health for humanity. As leaders of the world’s largest healthcare company, we consider it a core responsibility of the Board to capitalize on the Company’s position of strength to guide Johnson & Johnson both to address the pressing concerns of today, including through continued efforts relating to the COVID-19 pandemic as further described on page 11 of this Proxy Statement, and to be prepared to meet the challenges of tomorrow. With this responsibility in mind, the Board oversaw many strategic developments in 2021, including the decision to separate our Consumer Health business and appoint a new Chief Executive Officer.
We provide engaged, independent oversight of Johnson & Johnson’s long-term strategy. The Board works closely with senior management to formulate and oversee the Company’s long-term strategy to ensure that Johnson & Johnson is positioned to lead in an ever-changing global healthcare landscape. In 2021, we worked in close coordination with senior management to formulate and execute on several key strategic imperatives, including the announcement of our plans to create two global leading companies that are better positioned to accelerate innovation, serve patients and consumers and pursue more targeted business strategies through the anticipated separation of our Consumer Health business. The Board is excited about the prospects of enabling Johnson & Johnson to remain committed to developing life-saving and life-changing solutions in the Pharmaceutical and MedTech spaces, while simultaneously creating a leading, independent Consumer Health company with the agility and speed to effectively address the needs of its consumers. Consistent with the Board’s role of robust, independent oversight, we have formed a Special Committee to oversee the separation. The onset of 2022 also brought the culmination of thoughtful longterm succession planning, with the appointment of Joaquin Duato as Chief Executive Officer and Director, as well as the promotion of several new members to the Executive Committee. The Board appreciates the critical nature of smooth management transitions and is thrilled at the prospect of working even more closely with Joaquin, a proven Credo-driven leader with a 30-year track record of integrity and business success at Johnson & Johnson. We greatly appreciate Alex Gorsky’s ongoing commitment to Johnson & Johnson as part of the transition through his role as Executive Chairman and are confident that the Company has the right leadership to seize the moment and lead the Company into the future.
We value shareholder feedback and continually ensure our Directors bring diverse experiences and skills to bear. As Lead Director, I relish the opportunity to engage with shareholders and other key stakeholders, and I consider it a core responsibility to share insights gleaned from these conversations with my fellow Directors. Building on that feedback, we seek to deepen our commitment to a diversity of perspectives and experiences in our Boardroom. This year, the Board is pleased to introduce Mr. Darius Adamczyk, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Honeywell International Inc. Darius is a skilled CEO of a complex, multinational conglomerate that operates at the critically relevant intersection of technology and manufacturing, and we are confident that his remarkable leadership and experience, particularly with respect to separations, portfolio management and M&A, will drive business success and serve the interest of our shareholders.
The Board also appreciates valuable shareholder feedback on a variety of important corporate governance issues, including with respect to the design of our executive compensation program. We take our responsibility to align management incentives with shareholder outcomes seriously, always seeking to drive management to pursue robust short-term results without ever compromising Our Credo values or sacrificing sustainable long-term growth. We have engaged repeatedly and deeply on this topic, including through a joint meeting of the Compensation & Benefits Committee and Audit Committee to meaningfully evaluate the appropriate treatment of special items, and we invite you to review additional disclosure on this topic beginning on page 59 of this Proxy Statement.
We monitor and oversee the critical risks facing the Company and its reputation. Among the Board’s most crucial responsibilities is risk oversight. In 2021, we continually reviewed the Company’s quality and compliance practices to ensure they are designed to produce safe, high-quality products, and meaningfully engaged with senior management and compliance leaders to ensure that Johnson & Johnson is identifying and mitigating the most significant risks of the moment, as well as anticipating and preparing for future risks. We also appreciate and fully embrace the opportunity to advance our commitment to Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) matters. We welcome you to review our increasingly transparent disclosure of ESG priorities and practices as further described beginning on page 35 of this Proxy Statement and look forward to continuing to engage with our shareholders on these critical matters that impact all of our stakeholders.
Please vote. Johnson & Johnson remains steadfastly committed to Our Credo, anchored in the long-held belief that by honoring our first responsibility to patients, healthcare providers and customers who use our products, we will ensure that our shareholders should realize a fair return. On behalf of the full Board, I sincerely thank you for your continued trust and investment in Johnson & Johnson. Your vote is important, and we kindly request that you support our voting recommendations contained in this Proxy Statement and invite you to share your perspectives with us throughout the year.