Jim Burke is probably best-known for the time when he stopped advertising. At the start of the 1982 TYLENOL crisis, Burke pulled all advertising on America's leading analgesic while law enforcement officials examined the clues in the product-tampering incident.
Burke drew on Johnson & Johnson's 100-year reputation as a company that cares and showed that he was not afraid to take a financial setback in order to protect the public during two TYLENOL crises. Burke¿s personal leadership, his frank and open dealings with the press and the public through the media are credited for the restoration of the brand.
As chairman of the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, Burke worked to eliminate the greatest scourge of society today by using effective advertising to educate the public. The winner of numerous awards and honors, he was recognized in 1983 with the Public Service Award from the Ad Council.
His activities have included leadership roles in such organizations as the Council on Foreign Relations, the Business Enterprise Trust, the United Negro College Fund, the Business Roundtable, the Trilateral Commission and the President's Commission on Executive Exchange. He has served on the board of directors of IBM, the Prudential Insurance Company and The Washington Post Company.
Within Johnson & Johnson, Burke is recognized for his devotion to the tenets of the Company's Credo, a one-page document listing the company's responsibilities to its customers, employees, communities and stockholders. Under Burke's direction, the credo has been challenged and revised. His reliance on its principles during the TYLENOL crises institutionalized the philosophy throughout Johnson & Johnson.
A graduate of Holy Cross College and the Harvard Business School Class of 1949, Burke began his Johnson & Johnson career in 1953. During his 12-year tenure as chairman, Johnson & Johnson sales grew from $2.5 billion to more than $9 billion. Johnson & Johnson today is the most diversified healthcare company in the world. And Burke's legacy assures continued growth in the future.