The spin-off will entail the creation of “two world leaders who will be better positioned to deliver better health outcomes for patients and consumers through innovation,” J&J said in a statement.
It is the third major company to announce a plan to split its business this week, after General Electric and Toshiba.
J&J plans to complete its separation in 18-24 months, creating two different publicly traded companies.
CEO Alex Gorsky said the decision was made after a “comprehensive evaluation.”
The board and management believe that the division is “the best way to accelerate our efforts to serve patients, consumers and healthcare professionals, create opportunities for our talented global team, grow with benefits, and – most importantly – improve the health care outcomes for people around the world, “he said.
He added that the separation “highlights our focus on providing industry-leading innovations in the biopharmaceutical and medical device sector, with the goal of bringing new solutions to market for patients and healthcare systems, while creating sustainable value for shareholders.”
The company also said its 136,000 employees around the world “will continue to be the backbone of this business.”