The top 50: Chris Picariello, president, Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC

Chris Picariello has been president of Johnson & Johnson Development Corporation (JJDC) – thought to be the longest surviving corporate venturing programme in the world – since 2019.

Established by pharmaceutical firm Johnson & Johnson (J&J) in 1973, the unit has an emphasis on areas of strategic significance to the parent: these include medical devices, diagnostics, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and consumer products.

The unit, rebranded Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC in 2013, invests at all stages, from seed to series B and beyond. It has recently backed rounds raised by Glyphic Biotechnologies, a protein sequencing specialist, and biotech company TRex Bio.

Speaking at the end of 2021, Picariello said: “The past year continued to test us individually and collectively as the global pandemic impacted our society in ways large and small. 2021 was also a year when the global science and innovation community continued to respond to historic challenges and demonstrated our collective resilience, adaptability, creativity and strength of common purpose.”

He added: “I am proud to say that throughout this unpredictable year, JJDC not only met the moment but achieved significant milestones and continued to help our portfolio companies on the journey to bring transformational innovation to people around the world.”

The unit made a total of 56 new or follow-on investments in 2021, while realizing 13 exits. It currently has more than 150 active portfolio companies.

Picariello, who holds a bachelor of science in accounting from LaSalle University, was chief financial officer and global head of procurement for the government grants office and project management office for Janssen Research & Development, a J&J subsidiary, before joining the corporate venturing unit.