J&J names new PR chief as consumer pharma head retires

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Johnson & Johnson is promoting the head of its global vision care business to serve as its marketing and PR chief, replacing global OTC chairman Brian Perkins, who is retiring, in that role.

Michael Sneed is moving up to VP, global corporate affairs, in which role he will preside over the marketing giant's corporate affairs team, currently led by Perkins, and public affairs/corporate communication department, led by Ray Jordan, reporting directly to chairman and CEO Bill Weldon. Sneed, currently company group chairman with primary responsibility for J&J's global vision care franchise, joined the company in 1983 as a marketing assistant for Personal Products Company, working his way up through a variety of global marketing roles and leading the McNeil Nutritionals Worldwide and Personal Products Company units.

Perkins has served as corporate VP for the past seven years and worldwide chairman, consumer pharmaceuticals and nutritionals for the past 13 years. The 57-year-old's retirement comes as J&J struggles to win back trust after a series of product safety scandals involving shoddy manufacturing practices, mostly in its OTC division. The moves were first reported in Advertising Age, which speculated that Perkins' advertising responsibilities could go to other execs while Sneed takes charge of communications.

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