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Johnson & Johnson ( ) is a global Americanmarker pharmaceutical, medical devices and consumer packaged goods manufacturer founded in 1886. Its common stock is a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the company is listed among the Fortune 500. Johnson & Johnson is known for its corporate reputation, consistently ranking at the top of Harris Interactive's National Corporate Reputation Survey, ranking as the world's most respected company by Barron's Magazine, and was the first corporation awarded the Benjamin Franklin Award for Public Diplomacy by the U.S. State Department for its funding of international education programs.

The corporation's headquarters is located in New Brunswick, New Jerseymarker, United Statesmarker. Its consumer division is located in Skillman, New Jersey. The corporation includes some 250 subsidiary companies with operations in over 57 countries. Its products are sold in over 175 countries. J&J had worldwide pharmaceutical sales of $24.6 billion for the full-year 2008.

Johnson & Johnson's brands include numerous household names of medications and first aid supplies. Among its well-known consumer product are the Band-Aid Brand line of bandages, Tylenol medications, Johnson's baby products, Neutrogena skin and beauty products, Clean & Clear facial wash and Acuvue contact lenses.


Robert Wood Johnson, inspired by a speech by antisepsis advocate Joseph Lister, joined brothers James Wood Johnson and Edward Mead Johnson to create a line of ready-to-use surgical dressing in 1885. The company produced its first products in 1886 and incorporated in 1887.

Robert Wood Johnson served as the first president of the company. He worked to improve sanitation practices in the nineteenth century, and lent his name to a hospitalmarker in New Brunswick, New Jerseymarker. Upon his death in 1910, he was succeeded in the presidency by his brother James Wood Johnson until 1932, and then by his son, Robert Wood Johnson II.

Jamie Johnson, great-grandson of the founder, made a documentary called Born Rich about the experience of growing up as the heir to one of the world's greatest fortunes.

Corporate chairmanship

Robert Wood Johnson I 1887-1910
James Wood Johnson 1910-1932
Robert Wood Johnson II 1932-1963
Philip B. Hofmann 1963-1973
Richard B. Sellars 1973-1976
James E. Burke 1976-1989
Ralph S. Larsen 1989-2002
William C. Weldon 2002-

Corporate governance

Current members of the board of directors of Johnson & Johnson are: Mary Sue Coleman, James G. Cullen, Dominic Caruso, Michael M.E. Johns, Ann Dibble Jordan, Arnold G. Langbo, Susan L. Lindquist, Leo F. Mullin, Christine A. Poon, Steven S. Reinemund, David Satcher, and William C. Weldon.


Since the 1900s, the company has pursued steady diversification. It added consumer products in the 1920s and created a separate division for surgical products in 1941 which became Ethicon. It expanded into pharmaceuticals with the purchase of McNeil Laboratories, Inc., Cilag, and Janssen Pharmaceutica, and into women's sanitary products and toiletries in the 1970s and 1980s. In recent years, Johnson & Johnson has expanded into such diverse areas as biopharmaceuticals, orthopedic devices, and Internet publishing. Recently, Johnson & Johnson has purchased Pfizer's Consumer Healthcare department. The transition from Pfizer to Johnson and Johnson was completed December 18, 2006.

Johnson & Johnson has been consistently named one of the 100 Best Companies for Working Mothers by Working Mother.

Along with Gatorade, Johnson & Johnson is one of the founding sponsors of the National Athletic Trainers' Association.
J&J headquarters at One Johnson & Johnson Plaza in New Brunswick


The company has historically been located on the Delaware and Raritan Canal, in New Brunswick. The company considered moving its headquarters out of New Brunswick in the 1960s, but decided to stay in town after city officials promised to gentrify downtown New Brunswick by demolishing old buildings and constructing new ones. While New Brunswick lost at least one historic edifice (the inn where Rutgers Universitymarker began) to the redevelopment, the gentrification did attract people back to New Brunswick. Johnson & Johnson hired Henry N. Cobb from Pei Cobb Freed & Partners to design an addition to its headquarters, which took the form of a white tower in a park across the railroad tracks from the older portion of the headquarters. The stretch of Delaware and Raritan canal by the company's headquarters was replaced by a stretch of Route 18 in the late 1970s, after a lengthy dispute.

Environmental record

Johnson & Johnson has set several positive goals to keep their company environmentally friendly, and were ranked third among the United States' largest companies in Newsweek's "Green Rankings". Some examples are the reduction in water use, waste, and energy use, and an increased level of transparency. Johnson & Johnson agreed to change their packaging of plastic bottles, due to harmful chemicals used in the manufacturing process, switching their packaging of liquids to safe non-polycarbonate containers. The corporation is working with the Climate Northwest Initiative and the EPA National Environmental Performance Track program. As a member of the national Green Power Partnership, Johnson & Johnson operates the largest solar power generator in Pennsylvania at its site in Spring House, PAmarker.

1982 Chicago Tylenol murders

In 1982, Extra Strength Tylenol capsules in Chicago-area stores were found to be poisoned with cyanide. Johnson & Johnson's quick response, including a nationwide recall, was widely praised by public relations experts and the media.

Use of the Red Cross symbol

Johnson & Johnson registered the Red Cross as a U.S. trademark for "medicinal and surgical plasters" in 1905, and has used the design since 1887. The Geneva Conventions, which reserved the Red Cross emblem for specific uses, were first approved in 1864 and ratified by the United States in 1882; however, the emblem was not protected in U.S. law for the use of the American Red Cross and the U.S. military until after Johnson & Johnson had obtained its trademark. A clause in this law (now 18 U.S.C. 706) permits pre-existing uses of the Red Cross, such as Johnson & Johnson's, to continue.

A declaration made by the U.S. upon its ratification of the 1949 Geneva Conventions includes a reservation that pre-1905 U.S. domestic uses of the Red Cross, such as Johnson & Johnson's, would remain lawful as long as the cross is not used on "aircraft, vessels, vehicles, buildings or other structures, or upon the ground", uses which could be confused with its military uses. This means that the U.S. did not agree to any interpretation of the 1949 Geneva Conventions that would overrule Johnson & Johnson's trademark. Even as it disputes a recent lawsuit by Johnson & Johnson, the American Red Cross continues to recognize the validity of Johnson & Johnson's trademark.

In August 2007, Johnson & Johnson filed a lawsuit against the American Red Cross (ARC), demanding that the charity halt the use of the red cross symbol on products it sells to the public, though the company takes no issue with the charity's use of the mark for non-profit purposes. In May 2008, the judge in the case dismissed most of Johnson & Johnson's claims and a month later the two organizations announced a settlement had been reached in which both parties would continue to use the symbol.

Subsidiary holdings

Johnson & Johnson is a highly diversified company with at least 230 subsidiaries, which it refers to as the "Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies". Some of these subsidiaries include:

Consumer brands


  1. Harris Interactive press release, "Johnson & Johnson Ranks No. 1 in National Corporate Reputation Survey for Seventh Consecutive Year", December 7, 2005.
  2. The Market's Finest, by Michael Santoli, Barron's Magazine, September 2008
  3. Inaugural Recipients of the Benjamin Franklin Awards for Public Diplomacy, U.S. Department of State, April 8, 2008
  4. Johnson & Johnson investor website - Board of Directors
  5. Working Mother
  6. 2 Long-Disputed Projects to Begin, The New York Times, July 9, 1977
  7. Old Raritan Canal Lock Is Focus of a Classic Dispute, The New York Times, April 16, 1977.
  8. Green Rankings
  9. Johnson & Johnson Official Site. Retrieved May 4, 2008
  10. Environment New Service, December 8, 2004. Retrieved May 4, 2008
  11. Coop America March 27, 2008. Retrieved May 4, 2008
  12. Department of Environmental Protection, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
  13. USPTO record for Red Cross trademark
  14. U.S. reservations to the 1949 Geneva Conventions (International Committee of the Red Cross website)
  15. American Red Cross Defends Use of Emblem and Mission (American Red Cross press release, August 10, 2007)
  16. "Red Cross Is Sued by J&J Over Signature Emblem" Wall Street Journal 9 Aug. 2007
  17. Claim Over Red Cross Symbol Is Settled, The New York Times, June 18, 2008.

External links

Company Websites

Johnson & Johnson Consumer Brands Websites


Family history

  • Zodiacmarker, a historic schooner built for the Johnson family heirs

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