Spotlight On: Michelle DeJonge

Michelle Dejonge

VP Supply Chain Office of Strategy
Johnson & Johnson

Michelle DeJonge’s career demonstrates the value of building a broad spectrum of areas of expertise. Her undergraduate degree in Package Engineering led to a position with Ethicon Endo-Surgery, a Johnson & Johnson company, and from there through ever expanding leadership roles.

Complete bio follows Q&A

Q: How did you learn about “package engineering” and decide to major in that?

A: My goal out of high school was to pursue engineering as a major at Michigan State University. I had always been good at math and science. I started in the Agricultural Engineering School and quickly learned I was interested in the environmental and business side of engineering. Packaging was a small school within the Agricultural and Natural Resource College that offered the best of both worlds. My passion developed in consumer packaged goods and included graphic design, component, equipment and process technology development as well as marketing and customer interface. I was able to utilize my math, science and business acumen to start pursuing a career post graduating.

Q: How did your 17 years at Ethicon Endo-Surgery prepare you for your responsibilities at Johnson & Johnson?

A: Ethicon Endo-Surgery was a division within the Medical Device and Diagnostic division of Johnson & Johnson. It was a decentralized organization, so I had the ability to work in multiple functions across the organization. I started in packaging technical services, moved to R&D, spent time in business development, moved to operations and led planning, sourcing, and manufacturing. Each role built on my core strength in customer focused, process thinking, collaboration, people leadership and results driven. I moved up in roles and laterally to gain experience and knowledge of the business. I also received an executive MBA while working full time and raising two children who were three and six at the time. Ethicon Endo-Surgery provided a great learning environment, talent development and the opportunity to grow in many areas. These experiences gave me the confidence and insight to take on the broader corporate position.

Q: What project or accomplishment at J&J (so far) has been most challenging and rewarding – and why?

A: My role in consolidating 15 separate supply chains into one was the most challenging and rewarding. It was a new way of working for J&J and there was considerable resistance to change. The value proposition needed to be well developed. We had to assure the continuity of the business while managing the transformation. Although we had failures along the way, the positive outcomes across the standardization and leveraging provided a stronger supply chain. The programs we instituted were deployed quicker in the new organization. The biggest benefit was for individuals development planning as it made it easier to move within the supply chain across multiple businesses and functions. We continue to work to get closer to the customers in a very changing health care environment.

Q: What do you think is the most important thing a company’s Women’s Leadership Initiative can do for women leaders?

A: The opportunity to understand the value women provide to an organization throughout the various stages of their lives. Women make 80% of all health care decisions for their families and yet we lack the numbers in higher level decision making positions within corporations. As we progress in our careers, there are individuals that can help navigate the challenges that we face in balancing our professional and personal goals. WLI’s can provide the forum to speak up with honesty and transparency on the challenges that are emerging and start to develop new solutions. It is great way to have a collective voice in the changing business environment across the globe. It provides the ability to collaborate and build professional networks to drive change.

Michelle M. DeJonge is the Vice President, Office of Strategy & Execution, Johnson & Johnson Supply Chain (JJSC), a position she assumed in August 2013.

In this role, Michelle is responsible for leading development and execution of the JJSC Strategic Plan, governance of the JJSC operating model and end-to-end deployment of the Johnson & Johnson Supply Chain Operating System. In addition, Michelle leads enterprise-wide Network Management, which encompasses the company’s internal and external manufacturing footprint, campus management, Supply Chain Risk Management and the Project Management Office.

Prior to this role, Michelle served as Vice President, MD&D Global Supply Chain, where she led a team responsible for designing, integrating, staffing, governing and business results for a new sector-wide global end-to-end organization representing all of the Johnson & Johnson Medical Device & Diagnostics businesses. While leading the MD&D Global Supply Chain, Michelle served on the Johnson & Johnson Supply Chain Leadership Team and the three MD&D Group Operating Committees, and also was Executive Sponsor of the Bridgewater Women’s Leadership Initiative.

Michelle joined Johnson & Johnson in 1993 at Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc. in Packaging Technical Services. Following, she assumed roles of increasing responsibility in Packaging Systems, Process Excellence, Sterilization Sciences and Operations. She was promoted to Vice President, Worldwide Operations, in 2004 and assumed expanded responsibilities for Quality & Compliance as Worldwide Vice President, Supply Chain Management, in 2005. She led the MD&D Global Operations Council from 2007 to 2010.

Michelle previously held positions in package engineering with Redken Laboratories, The Gillette Company and Drackett, a former unit of Bristol Myers-Squibb.

Michelle earned an MBA from Xavier University and a Bachelor of Science degree in packaging engineering from Michigan State University. She is a recipient of the Brad Bills Memorial Award for Leadership and the Cincinnati YWCA Career Women of Achievement Award.

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