October 9, 2008 / 3:30 PM / 11 years ago

UPDATE 1-J&J names surgical chief to lead pharmaceuticals

(New throughout; adds NEW YORK to dateline)

NEW YORK, Oct 9 (Reuters) - Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N) appointed Sheri McCoy, leader of its surgical care group, on Thursday worldwide chairman of its pharmaceuticals group, effective Jan. 1.

McCoy will replace Christine Poon, whose departure from J&J was announced last month. Poon, who has also served as J&J’s board vice chairman, plans to step down in March.

J&J has posted sluggish pharmaceutical results in recent quarters, in part because of patent expirations to drugs such as its Risperdal schizophrenia medicine.

But the diversified healthcare company’s results in medical devices and consumer products have been strong, allowing the company to outperform most drug makers.

The New Jersey-based company named McCoy earlier this year to the new position of worldwide chairman of the surgical care group, where she has had responsibility for J&J’s surgical franchises Ethicon, Ethicon Endo-Surgery and DePuy.

Previously, McCoy, 49, led Ethicon and the company’s medical devices and diagnostics business in Latin America.

She joined J&J in 1982 as an associate scientist in research and development for the company’s personal products unit.

“Sheri’s strong research background and breadth of experience have prepared her well to assume the leadership of our pharmaceuticals group,” Chief Executive Officer William Weldon said.

J&J will give an in-depth update to analysts on its pharmaceutical business on Tuesday, in conjunction with its third-quarter financial results.

To replace McCoy as surgical care chairman, J&J named Alex Gorsky, who has been leading Ethicon. (Reporting by Lewis Krauskopf, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)

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