In the midst of a major restructuring programme, Johnson & Johnson has set up three new units in order to “sharpen its focus on opportunities outside its traditional areas of interest and in the growing intersections of health care”.

Looking to build on “the unique strengths afforded by the company's broad base of businesses and decentralised structure,” the first of these new divisions is called Office of Strategy and Growth. The firm, somewhat vaguely, said that the latter “will identify new growth opportunities distinct from existing pursuits that are strategic fits for J&J and that have the potential for significant impact on human health”.

The other two units that J&J is setting up are the Surgical Care Group – which will focus on advancing technologies, solutions and services in the surgical setting – and the Comprehensive Care Group. The latter will be involved with the firm’s diabetes franchise, Cordis, J&J Vision Care and Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics.

Chief executive William Weldon said that “much of the change in health care reflects the coming together of parts of the system that were at one time separate". He added that the solutions health care systems most need, “those coming from the convergence of science, technology and services – are the ones we are most capable of providing. We have the know-how...to bring completely new solutions to market”.

J&J pharma chief Scodari to retire
Meantime, J&J announced that the chairman of its pharmaceuticals division, Joseph Scodari, is planning to retire in early 2008. Mr Weldon said that Mr Scodari first spoke to the company about his desire to retire “several years ago”, but agreed “to remain in a leadership position for an extended time” Now he is leaving, to be replaced by Christine Poon will assume responsibility for both the company's pharmaceutical and biological businesses.