Gorsky '82, J&J CEO, Credits West Point for His Success
One thing most people don't know about Johnson & Johnson is that its CEO is a military veteran. Alex Gorsky is a graduate of the West Point military academy. He went on to serve in the army for six years rising to the rank of captain. Gorsky, who began his career in sales at the health products giant, rose up the ranks of J&J to become CEO in 2012. He credits his business success to those years of military training, adding that it had a "profound effect" on the way he leads.
"In the military you're frequently given really challenging missions. And I think what's really important is to look at things realistically," Gorsky says. "You access them, but then frankly, it's up to you to motivate the team, to figure out a solution, to keep going ahead."
Gorsky adds that he developed a "huge appreciation for diversity" while serving in the army and years later it would have an impact on his business leadership style. "When I entered the Academy, so many of the soldiers that I worked with didn't look like me. They came from very different backgrounds," he explains. "When you're making a decision, when you're bringing people together, having different points of view, having different perspectives, is very very important." Read more.