CMO 50: Michael Sneed

EVP, global corporate affairs & chief communication officer, Johnson & Johnson

Johnson & Johnson has been at the forefront of the COVID-19 vaccination effort, leaving Michael Sneed, EVP, global corporate affairs and chief communication officer, with a monumental task. After Johnson & Johnson phased out the chief marketing officer role when Alison Lewis left in June 2019, it was up to Sneed to lead the brand's reputation in one of the most critical periods in its history.

Sneed has been with Johnson & Johnson since 1983, working his way up from a marketing assistant to leading global marketing, communications, design and philanthropy and sitting on the pharma giant's executive committee. In addition to driving marketing and communications around Johson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine, Sneed has led efforts to drive vaccine awareness and education, such as the My Health Can’t Wait campaign, as well as a financial commitment to donate $50 million to COVID-19 relief. Sneed helped Johnson & Johson take an intersectional lens to the issue, driving a $100 million donation to fund testing in diverse communities and bring more diversity to clinical trials. 

But controversy is always lurking for Johnson & Johnson. While it continues to face class-action lawsuits from the talc baby powder scandal of 2019, the company behind the one-shot COVID vaccine is facing backlash from reports of blood-clotting in young women, which has been a PR nightmare. Still, Sneed has room to work, as Johnson & Johnson plays a key role in making vaccinations available across the globe and for tourists thanks to its one-dose product. 

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