Gorsky, 61, has served as chairman and CEO since 2012 and will become executive chairman of the board.
He said in a prepared statement from the company that the timing was right for his decision, both for the company and personally, “as I focus more on my family due to family health reasons.”
J&J reported a 73% jump in second-quarter profit last month, driven by strong sales growth as hospitals and other parts of the health care industry rebounded from COVID-19 pandemic slowdowns the previous year.
The New Brunswick, New Jersey, company made more than $6 billion in the second quarter but received little help from its one-shot COVID-19 vaccine, which brought in just $164 million in sales. The vaccine — one of three approved for use in the United States — has been plagued by concerns about some very rare side effects and the temporary shutdown of a contract manufacturer’s factory due to contamination problems.
Gorsky, who joined Johnson & Johnson in 1988, oversaw the company’s biggest-ever acquisition, a $30-billion deal for Swiss biopharmaceutical company Actelion that was completed in 2018.
The company also noted that investment in research and development has jumped more than 60% during Gorsky’s tenure to $12 billion last year, with oncology being a focus.
Shares of J & J gained $1.13 in Friday morning trading, climbing to $179.70 while broader indexes also rose slightly. The stock price has climbed more than 12% so far this year.