Johnson & Johnson’s latest shakeup is coming from the outside – the company is bringing on Sandra Peterson, chair and CEO of Bayer’s CropScience division, to take hold of the US company’s consumer units. Peterson’s title will be group worldwide chairman and she will oversee the consumer unit, IT and global supply chain. She will join the New Jersey company December 1 and will also be part of J&J’s executive committee. Peterson won’t have much time to get over the jet lag – her last day at Bayer is officially November 30.
The move means Peterson will be put in charge of one of the J&J units that has become notable for its list of recalls, including OTC children’s products and adult formulations of Tylenol, Benadryl, Sudafed and Sinutab. The division jump puts Peterson in familiar territory – she has also served as president and CEO of Bayer’s medical care division and president of its diabetes business. This is in addition to her work at Medco, Nabisco and Whirlpool. It also moves her from overseeing a business that pulled in $9.4 billion last year to one that tallied $14.9 billion. For a one-to-one comparison, Bayer’s healthcare unit, which includes animal, consumer and pharmaceutical businesses, had $22.2 billion in sales last year, compared to Johnson & Johnson’s $14.9 billion.
It also puts Peterson in a parallel corporate situation, in that Bayer’s consumer profile took a bit of a hit, with settlements over its Yaz birth control reaching around $400 million.