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Warren Buffett: Johnson & Johnson 'messed up in a lot of ways'

Billionaire and investing icon Warren Buffett said that health-care giant Johnson & Johnson has "obviously messed up in a lot of ways in the last few years."

Warren Buffett: Johnson & Johnson 'messed up in a lot of ways'

Warren Buffett
Warren Buffett

Billionaire and investing icon Warren Buffett said Monday morning that health-care giant Johnson & Johnson has "obviously messed up in a lot of ways in the last few years."

Buffett is chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, Co., the investment company that owns or holds sizable positions in companies in numerous industries, J&J, Wells Fargo and Coca-Cola among them.

"They have some wonderful products and a wonderful balance sheet, but too many mistakes have been made at Johnson & Johnson," Buffett said in the interview with CNBC's Becky Quick on the show Squawk Box. "Clearly, they have not lived up to their standards."

Buffett had a mixed view of J&J's stock, which has lagged compared to competitors.

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CEO Bill Weldon to retire in April at Johnson & Johnson

Buffett said Berkshire has not sold its stake but "we might," although there is no need to because Berkshire already sits on plenty of cash.

"If I needed money, that would be on my sell list" versus Wells Fargo and others in the portfolio, Buffett said.

Buffett's comments come on the heals of last week's change in leadership. The company said Alex Gorsky will replace Bill Weldon as chief executive officer in April.

Nonetheless, the J&J board gave Weldon an extra bonus from what he got in 2010. The 2010 compensation was about $28 million.

Sunday's Inquirer story presented some of the challenges ahead for Gorsky. That story is here.

David Sell
About this blog
David Sell blogs about the region's pharmaceutical industry. Follow him on Facebook.

For Inquirer.com. Portions of this blog may also be found in the Inquirer's Sunday Health Section.

Reach David at dsell@phillynews.com.

David Sell
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