J&J names CEO of its consumer health unit ahead of spinout

J&J sign (Wikimedia Commons)

Johnson & Johnson has appointed Thibaut Mongon as the chief executive of its consumer health division, which is scheduled to be spun off into a listed company by the end of 2023.

J&J announced its intention to separate consumer health from its faster-growing prescription medicine and medical device businesses last November, creating a separate company that will be home to well-recognised brands, including Band-Aid dressings, Johnson's baby range, Listerine mouthwash, and Tylenol painkillers.

The appointment of Mongon does not come out of left field, as he is a J&J veteran who has been with the company since 2000 and currently serves as the executive vice president and worldwide chairman of the consumer health unit.

He will be joined at the new company's C-suite by current consumer heath chief financial officer Paul Ruh, who will retain the position after the spinout concludes.

J&J said in a statement that it expects the separation to complete next year "subject to legal requirements including consultation with works councils and employee representatives."

The move follows similar decisions by rival companies, including GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer, which combined their consumer health units into a joint venture that is scheduled to be spun off next year. Germany's Merck KGaA meanwhile sold its consumer health division to Procter & Gamble in 2018.

"With Thibaut at the helm, we can expect the new consumer health company to remain mission driven with iconic, science-backed brands and a strong commitment to innovation and remarkable talent," said J&J's CEO Joaquin Duato.

"He will be supported by Paul, who brings a strong track record of delivering transformational improvements and who has in-depth knowledge and expertise of the consumer goods industry."

The spinout represents a major change in direction for J&J, which for many years has held that its diversified structure has helped it weather periods of volatility in some markets, for example a downturn in 2019 and 2020 in its medical device business and the impact of patent expiries in pharma.