Sherilyn McCoy has been named the world-wide chairman of Johnson & Johnson’s pharmaceutical division, the largest of the company’s three units. In January 2008, she will advance from her present position as world-wide chairman of the surgical-care group to become one of the highest-ranking women in the drug industry.

McCoy joined the company in 1982 as an associate scientist in research and development at Personal Products Company. She earned a B.S. in textile chemistry from the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. After receiving her M.S.E. in chemical engineering from Princeton, she earned an M.B.A. from Rutgers University.