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Schumer urges J&J CEO to retain unit's jobs

Rochester Business Journal
December 10, 2013

Sen. Charles Schumer said Tuesday he had a positive discussion with Johnson & Johnson CEO Alex Gorsky over the New Jersey-based company’s previously announced intention to reevaluate the status of its Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics Inc. unit.

Johnson & Johnson in January said it was considering options that could include a sale or spinoff of the roughly 1,100-worker, Greece-based unit. Gorsky then said no sale was imminent but that Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics, which it acquired from Eastman Kodak Co. in 1995, is not well aligned with Johnson & Johnson’s strategic direction. The company would explore various options over the next 12 to 24 months, Gorsky said then. 

Schumer, D-N.Y., said he urged the CEO in the phone call on Tuesday to make retaining Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics jobs a top priority.

“I stressed the viability of the Rochester facility,” Schumer said. “It makes business sense to preserve and grow such a steady revenue-producer. The Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics facilities in Rochester solidifies the region’s reputation for cutting-edge manufacturing and R&D, which further spurs innovation and job growth, so keeping it in Rochester is one of my top priorities.”
Formerly Eastman Kodak Co.’s blood analyzer unit, Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics makes blood-screening equipment. More than 400 of its local employees are scientists in research and development. Much the unit’s remaining staff work in manufacturing jobs. The unit ranked 22nd on the Rochester Business Journal’s most recent private-sector employer list.
 
Schumer had called Gorsky with a similar message in January. Should the company decide to divest the unit, Gorsky should make preservation of the unit’s manufacturing and research facilities a top priority, Schumer said Tuesday. 
    
(c) 2013 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or e-mail service@rbj.net.


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