La Salle alumnus leading Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, Inc., as president
December 6, 2023
Chris Picariello, ’95, remembers the opportunities provided for him at La Salle to begin his career.
Chris Picariello, ’95, believes in taking a risk.
The accounting graduate has seen these chances pay off since his days as a student at La Salle. Today, Picariello is the president of Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, Inc. (JJDC). The role within the strategic venture capital arm of the Johnson & Johnson companies includes leading a global team of investment experts within J&J Innovation Centers. He also provides leadership for JJDC’s investing activities in strategic areas of importance to Johnson & Johnson.
Growing up in a Philadelphia rowhome, Picariello was looking for a university that was close to home with a good reputation and good values. Plus, an affordable and accessible campus were added benefits.
“What La Salle stood for with its service mentality and being close to Philadelphia and its emerging, strong business accounting program were big factors for me,” he said.
Studying in the School of Business prepared Picariello for his career with its rigorous academics and real-world educational scenarios. He remembers the supportive faculty teaching the ethics and morals of business helped laid the foundation for doing good in the field.
“That education shaped how I thought about ethical decision making,” he said.
Picariello also got involved outside of the classroom as president and vice president of two accounting clubs. These opportunities, plus the networking events hosted by the School of Business, provided the foundation for Picariello to build his career.
“La Salle gave me the opportunity to step into something as a leader,” he said.
Picariello was first introduced to Johnson & Johnson during a networking event. He started with the company through the Finance Leadership Development Program. He began to climb the ladder at J&J through corporate finance. He’s held roles as chief financial officer, and head of procurement and project management office at Janssen Pharmaceutical Research & Development, LLC. Later, he served as chief financial officer for the North America Consumer division of Johnson & Johnson.
“La Salle opened the door to allow me to get that kind of opportunity,” he said.
Picariello has had the opportunity to work across the Johnson & Johnson organization working in various areas and travelling across the world to live in Belgium for a period. He said it’s been a great experience seeing different areas of company and feel his personal values reflected in the organization as it works to create lifesaving pharmaceuticals among other innovations.
“I was exposed to different cultures and environments, and I think the La Salle environment helped me thrive in those,” he said.
Picariello’s advice to current Explorers is to be open to the hard work and mentorship La Salle brings. He also suggests maintaining curiosity to grow, learn, and develop. It’s possible those experiences will blossom into a lifelong career path.