J&J's chief scientific officer will retire by year end

FILE PHOTO: Johnson & Johnson company offices are shown in Irvine, California
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(Reuters) -Johnson & Johnson said on Tuesday Chief Scientific Officer Paul Stoffels, who spearheaded the development of the company's single-shot COVID-19 vaccine, will retire at the end of this year.

The healthcare conglomerate did not immediately name Stoffels' successor.

Stoffels, 59, began his career as a physician in Africa with a focus on HIV and worked at J&J's Janssen Pharmaceutica in the early 1990s. He re-joined J&J in 2002 when the drugmaker acquired Virco and Tibotec, a Belgium-based antiviral drug developer, to expand its pipeline of HIV drugs.

Chief Scientific Officer since 2012, Stoffels has been responsible for innovation and safety across J&J's drugs, medical devices and consumer health sectors.

"Under Paul's leadership, the Janssen R&D teams developed more than 25 new medicines across multiple therapeutic areas," said Joaquin Duato, J&J's incoming chief executive officer.

In August, J&J named Duato successor to long-standing Chief Executive Officer Alex Gorsky, effective January 3.

During Stoffels' tenure, the drugmaker developed a one-shot vaccine for COVID-19, which won the U.S. regulatory authorization in February. The vaccine's uptake, however, suffered https://www.reuters.com/business/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/jj-vaccine-drive-stalls-out-us-after-safety-pause-2021-06-07 due to safety concerns.

Stoffels will also retire from the role of vice chairman of J&J's executive committee.

(Reporting by Manojna Maddipatla in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)