Johnson & Johnson Vice President and Worldwide Chairman Pharmaceuticals Joaquin Duato attends a news conference at Actelion headquarters in Allschwil, Switzerland January 26, 2017. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

Aug 19 (Reuters) – Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N) said on Thursday its Vice Chairman of Executive Committee Joaquin Duato will become chief executive officer from Jan. 3, replacing Alex Gorsky who has been at the helm for nine years.

During Gorsky’s tenure, he oversaw significant breakthroughs in the company’s vaccine programs, including the development of the first single-shot COVID-19 vaccine.

J&J said its market capitalization grew from nearly $180 billion to more than $470 billion under Gorsky and its share price increased over 170%.

Gorsky said in a statement it was the right time for the transition for both the company and him personally as he focuses more on family due to “health reasons.”

Under his leadership, the healthcare conglomerate also acquired Actelion in a $30 billion deal, the largest in its history, to push into medicines for rare diseases.

Gorsky will serve as the company’s executive chairman.

Duato, who has worked with J&J for more than 30 years, was also the chairman of the trade group Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.

He will also be appointed as a member of the company’s board.

Reporting by Manojna Maddipatla in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur

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