August 4th, 2009

The Closing Bell

2009 marks the 65th year that Johnson & Johnson has been listed as a public company on the New York Stock Exchange. To commemorate this event, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Bill Weldon, Chief Financial Officer Dominic Caruso and a bunch of other folks involved with our investor and shareholder activity yesterday rang the closing bell at the exchange.

Twelve of my collegues squeezed on to the historic balcony overlooking the noisy floor of the 217-year-old exchange to literally bring trading to a halt as the clock struck 4. You can catch the footage here.

A lot of thoughtful planning goes into the bell-ringing ceremony, with participants encouraged to arrive as early as 3 p.m. As we were making their way to the balcony at around 3:50, something prompted one of our group to ask their NYSE host if any ceremonial bell-ringing individual or organization had ever shown up late for the job. As a matter of fact, he was told, just recently one celebrity performer was quite upset to arrive a couple minutes late and discover they hadn’t held up the exchange closing for him.

To mark this moment, Margaret (as usual!!!) pulled out some fascinating facts and information about what it was like 65 years ago when the company first made the move from being a privately-held company to being listed on the NYSE.

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