Jordan to Take Over From Nielsen at J&J
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Jordan to Take Over From Nielsen at J&J

Willard (Bill) Nielsen, senior PR exec at Johnson & Johnson for the past 14 years, will retire from the company effective December 31. His position will be filled by Raymond Jordan, who joined last year as vice president on the corporate staff.

Paul Holmes

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Willard (Bill) Nielsen, corporate vice president for public affairs and corporate communications at Johnson & Johnson for the past 14 years, will retire from the company effective December 31. His position will be filled by Raymond Jordan, who joined J&J last year as vice president on the corporate staff. Jordan will take over on October 1, and Nielsen will continue through the end of the year as a special advisor to chairman and chief executive officer William Weldon.

Under Nielsen’s leadership, Johnson & Johnson’s public relations and corporate communications division has been responsible for overseeing the public affairs activities of a decentralized family of more than 200 broadly based health care operating companies in 57 countries around the world.

“Bill has led the development of our Corporate Communications division as a vital management function throughout his tenure,” says Weldon.  “He has been a staunch proponent of the ethical principles embodied in Our Credo as a basis for executive management decision-making.  His counsel on the myriad issues that regularly confront us will be missed, but the example he set for integrity and his consistent approach to values-based actions will continue to be central to the business conduct of this company.”

Before joining J&J, Jordan spent 17 years with Pfizer and was Vice president, communications and information before joining the corporate communications group at Johnson & Johnson.  At J&J, he has spearheaded development of communications strategies for the medical devices and diagnostics segment, one of the company’s three primary business segments.

Nielsen joined Johnson & Johnson in 1988 following 18 years as a public relations consultant, first with Carl Byoir & Associates and then with Hill & Knowlton when the two firms merged in 1986.  At H&K he worked on the Johnson & Johnson account before joining the company in 1988. He was promoted to his current position in 1990 and was elected a Corporate Officer in 1992. 

“One thing I’m very proud of is the fact that Ray is being promoted immediately to corporate officer rank, which is where I have been, and he will report directly to the CEO, as I have,” Nielsen says. “This truly is a demonstration by management of the critical role communications/public relations plays in the leadership mix at Johnson & Johnson.”

Nielsen was instrumental in developing and nurturing the National Safe Kids campaign, a 16-year program that served as a business-building platform for Johnson & Johnson, and contributed to a more than 40 percent reduction in unintentional injury to children.  He also led a 10-year public relations and advertising education program for the pharmaceutical industry through the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers Association.

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