General Counsel, Medical Devices at Johnson & Johnson
Ashley Watson was recently appointed as Worldwide General Counsel, Medical Devices and leads the Medical Devices Legal Group and serves on the Medical Devices Leadership Team. Ashley joined Johnson & Johnson in December 2018 as the Chief Compliance Officer and head of the Johnson & Johnson Health Care Compliance organization. Ashley has extensive global experience in compliance and legal roles, including developing anti-corruption programs, managing internal and external investigations, driving and simplifying compliant practices and integrating innovation and technology.
Ashley joined Johnson & Johnson from Merck & Co. where she was Senior Vice President, Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer. In that role, she was responsible for ensuring that the company maintained high quality compliance programs on a global basis.
Among her accomplishments, Ashley helped Merck successfully close out a multi-year Corporate Integrity Agreement, transformed the privacy program for GDPR readiness, expanded the use of data analytics and due diligence tools, modernized policies and training, chaired Merck’s pro-bono committee and created a cross-functional risk committee.
Prior to joining Merck in 2015, Ashley was the Chief Ethics & Compliance Officer for the Hewlett-Packard Company, where she was named Compliance Officer of the Year by Women in Compliance in 2014. During her career at Hewlett-Packard, Ashley also held senior leadership roles in the company’s Law Department, including serving as Vice President and Deputy General Counsel for Global Functions and as Legal Vice President leading the legal team for the Enterprise Hardware and Networking business unit with over $30 Billion in revenues.
Earlier in her career, Ashley held a variety of legal roles as an in-house lawyer and at law firms, primarily in litigation, employment law and government investigations. Ashley is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a BA with honors in political science and the University of Georgia School of Law.