DePuy Orthopaedics‘s popular ASR XL Acetabular System-a hip replacement implant device-has undergone a major recall. Patients worldwide have complained of immobilizing pain, joint dislocations, infections and bone fractures due to the metal-on-metal hip units. Furthermore, surgeons and specialists are concerned that the metal debris from the defective product increases the amount of cobalt and chromium alloys to dangerously-high levels in human muscle tissue.
Bloomberg Businessweek published a cover story on March 31, 2011 that features Johnson & Johnson, parent company of DePuy Orthopaedics.
The article in this week’s issue of Bloomberg, “Johnson & Johnson’s Quality Catastrophe,” discusses the DePuy drama in depth. The story also covers a current image crisis gripping Johnson & Johnson. The company’s problems do not start or end at DePuy; several of the company’s subsidiaries are struggling to maintain the time-honored reputation for value that Johnson & Johnson has relished for decades.
Readers will be especially interested in viewing the reader discussion available on the article’s online publication. Former employees lambast the current CEO, William Weldon, and lament the loss of a previous CEO, Jim Burke, who was able to thwart an image deterioration after a Tylenol recall crisis in 1982. When your own employees cannot stand behind you, there’s clearly a problem more endemic and extensive than a minor mistake or a momentary bad image.