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Johnson & Johnson CEO William Weldon would like to retire next year. Yet a series of recent product quality problems has him concerned. Insiders say Mr. Weldon is very competitive and would not leave the company with lingering problems. So Weldon is working on plans to take corrective action. Johnson & Johnson’s board of directors might ask him to stay a little longer and see these plans through. The company’s customer relationships are good and its financial performance has not taken much of a hit because of the recalls. However, there are now questions about the successor to Weldon. One thing is certain – the focus, for now, is more on manufacturing than who will run the company in the near future.


M1. CEO William Weldon recently presented plans to Johnson & Johnson employees for dealing with manufacturing problems. Of the key benefits associated with planning, which do you believe Mr. Weldon hopes to realize? Why? Can you make an argument for all three?

M2. Is the planning needed to respond to these manufacturing problems short- or long-range? Strategic/tactical or operational? State your reasons for both choices.

M3. Johnson & Johnson is obviously very concerned about quality and the shadow that recalls casts on its image. Put yourself in the shoes of CEO Weldon. Using the example in Figure 7.2 develop a hierarchy of objectives to guide implementation of plans to correct manufacturing problems.

SOURCE: J. S. Lublin & J. D. Rockoff, “J&J Chief Tends Corporate Wounds,” Wall Street Journal (Retrievable online at

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