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Last Updated: Tuesday, 13 February 2007, 06:28 GMT
J&J manager quits in fraud probe
Johnson & Johnson is a healthcare giant
A Johnson & Johnson executive has stepped down after the healthcare giant said some of its foreign units may have made improper payments.

The US firm said the payments, related to the sale of medical devices in two unspecified countries, may break the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

It said it was would cooperate with the US Department of Justice and US Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC).

Outgoing Michael Dormer said he bore final responsibility for the units.

'Being taken seriously'

Morgan Stanley analyst Glenn Reicin said the firm was most likely attempting to contain the damage.

"We suspect that J&J management probably had to find a way to make it clear to authorities that this matter is being taken seriously, potentially pre-empting federal enforcement action," he said.

Mr Dormer, who was worldwide chairman of the company's medical devices & diagnostic unit, is being replaced by Nicholas Valeriani.

Some of Johnson & Johnson's best known brands include Listerine mouthwash and the Sudafed allergy drug.

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