Michael Ullmann

Michael Ullmann

  • Leader in Residence; Lecturer in Law

J.D., Columbia Law School, 1983
B.A., Cornell University, 1980

(Retired) Executive Vice President, General Counsel & Executive Committee Member, Johnson & Johnson

Michael Ullmann served as the Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Executive Committee Member of Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) for 11 years from 2011 until his retirement in 2023. As General Counsel of the world’s largest Life Sciences company, he successfully guided JNJ through high-profile and high-risk situations, while helping to grow the business, increase shareholder value and maintain its reputation as one of the most admired companies in the world (currently #22 on Fortune’s Most Admired list and #1 in the pharmaceutical industry). During his tenure as EVP, market cap increased from $177 to $450 billion and sales grew to $94 billion.

Ullmann led a global organization of over 2,000 employees in 60 countries encompassing Legal, Government Relations & Policy, ESG Strategy, Intellectual Property, Corporate Governance and the Risk Management areas of Data Privacy, Compliance and Security.

Over his 11 years in role, Ullmann reported directly to three JNJ Chairman/CEO’s and worked closely with the JNJ Board of Directors, attending all Board meetings and providing strategic advice and driving successful results on Board matters, including ESG issues, investor activism, M&A, CEO transitions and geopolitical situations with significant financial and reputational risk.

He has extensive experience in government affairs and public policy issues in Washington, D.C. focused on Congress and regulatory agencies (DOJ, FDA and SEC), as well as global experience in OUS markets, including China, the EU, Asia and Latin America. In his Executive Committee role, he traveled to over 30 countries to meet with government officials, business partners and employees.

Ullmann played a critical role in over 100 M&A transactions (totaling over $100 billion) encompassing a wide range from multi-billion-dollar public company acquisitions and divestitures to venture capital investments, as well as the separation of JNJ’s iconic Consumer business. He also successfully led JNJ crisis management teams on high-profile and high-risk government investigations and regulatory actions, public relations and media situations, geopolitical events, litigation and product quality issues.

Ullmann is recognized for and has spoken frequently within J&J and externally on ethical and values-based leadership. He is known as a leader and advocate of DEI in the recruitment, development and promotion of diverse talent within JNJ and in the legal industry. He served as the global Executive Sponsor of the Hispanic/Latino resource group at JNJ and was an active member of the national Leadership Council on Legal Diversity.

In the non-profit world, Ullmann serves as a Director and Audit & Risk Committee Chairman of Americares, the global healthcare and relief organization with over $1.5 billion provided in program services annually. He also serves on the Boards of Directors of the Princeton Area Community Foundation and the Naples Zoo, an AZA-accredited zoological facility in Florida, which is involved in conservation of wildlife on a global basis.

Ullmann has also recently engaged at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) in areas related to innovation and research. He has been asked by MIT's President and Vice President for Research to serve a four-year term on the MIT Visiting Committee for Sponsored Research, which serves as an advisory group on research activities sponsored by companies and the government. He has also been appointed to the MIT Sandbox Innovation fund which is the primary MIT incubator program to support undergrad, graduate and postdoc students in the pursuit of their innovative and entrepreneurial ventures.

Ullmann graduated from Columbia University Law School and received his undergraduate degree, magna cum laude, from Cornell University. He serves on the Columbia University Law School Board of Visitors and the Cornell University Alumni Council.