Kellogg World Alumni Magazine Winter 2009

Putting health first

Through Band-Aids and baby wash, Colleen Goggins improves the lives of customers around the world

By Sara Langen

For Colleen Goggins '79, sunscreen isn't just a product — it's something that fulfills a mission.

  Colleen Goggins '79
  Photo © Dave Moser

"You like to think that it helps people look better and feel better," she shares. "Maybe you've helped them become more aware of skin cancer or prevented them from damaging their skin in some way. It's a small thing, but it's not insignificant."

As worldwide chairman of Johnson & Johnson's consumer group, Goggins knows the impact that J&J products have on the health of her customers. She also understands how that translates to the strength and longevity of the company. 

"We think that if we do a good job in serving consumers, patients and healthcare professionals, that all the business metrics will follow," she says. "So far, for more than 120 years, that's been the case."

Since joining J&J in 1981, Goggins has contributed to the company's success in various positions. She has served as director of marketing for J&J GmbH in Germany, president of J&J Canada, president of Personal Products Company, U.S., president of Consumer Products Company and company group chairman. Last year, her leadership efforts contributed to the consumer group's 17 percent profit increase; this year, she was ranked No. 19 on Fortune's "50 Most Powerful Women in Business" list.

Goggins has devoted 28 years to J&J because she believes strongly in her work and embraces the company's mission.

"It's probably very obvious in J&J's pharmaceutical group and in the medical device group how they are helping to improve people's health every single day around the world, but we think that the consumer group does as well," she says. "We're helping people's skin, their oral health, their systemic health. It's a little harder to quantify something like that, but I hope that we've been able, in some small way, to positively impact people's lives."

J&J is also making an impact through its philanthropic and sustainability initiatives. The company has launched several global outreach efforts, targeting women, children, those with HIV, victims of hurricanes and earthquakes, and more.

"Commercial efforts are one thing, but they're really not all of what J&J's about," says Goggins. "We've tried to have a positive impact on health and wellness around the world while minimizing any negative impact on the environment."

Goggins hopes her leadership will inspire and motivate other team members at J&J. That's crucial for moving the company forward.

"I've got a team of very intelligent people who share J&J's vision of improving people's health and wellness in every nook and cranny on the planet," she says. "If I can give them the resources and empower them to do what needs to be done, hopefully that will make an impact."

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