Johnson & Johnson’s innovation, Irvine roots and credo to give back

When Celine Martin says Irvine’s prowess in innovative medical technology is “at the heart of what we do,” you can take that literally.

When Celine Martin says Irvine’s prowess in innovative medical technology is “at the heart of what we do,” you can take that literally.

She leads one of the nation’s largest cardiovascular-device efforts: Johnson & Johnson’s Irvine-based Cardiovascular & Specialty Solutions Group – a network of global businesses that collectively generate more than $5 billion in annual sales. The high-tech devices help serve more than 1.5 million patients a year.

We asked Martin, a J&J MedTech group chairman, how Irvine helps the company’s innovation to meet the needs and well-being of its customers.

Why has J&J MedTech made Irvine its home base for more than 30 years?

We are sitting at an epicenter of world-class talent who are leading innovation in both technology and biology, which is at the heart of what we do at J&J MedTech.

Today, J&J MedTech’s Irvine campus has grown to over 2,000 employees and is home to several high-growth global medtech businesses, including Acclarent, Biosense Webster, Cerenovus, Mentor and J&J Vision. We look forward to continuing to grow our business and our impact in the Irvine community.

What’s unique about your workplace culture?

At Johnson & Johnson, our culture is very much guided by what we call ‘Our Credo,’ which turns 80 years old this year. This outlines the ethics that guide our company – from big-picture deals and acquisitions down to the most basic day-to-day decisions. Our Credo guides everyone at Johnson & Johnson to put first the needs and well-being of those they serve.

We have a powerful shared purpose that motivates all we do – to save and improve lives. Our teams work closely together to deliver the next big health breakthroughs because so much is at stake for the people who are counting on us. As we like to say, ‘one team, one win.’

You can really see this come to life in our innovation – which is constantly raising standards of care for patients and helping health care professionals deliver care. You see this in the environment of inclusion and the value we place on diversity and creating equity in health care. At our Irvine campus, we have an extremely active community of employee resources groups, and I’m very proud to report that our leadership team is 60% female.

You also see Our Credo come to life in how we give back to the community. Our Irvine campus supports – financially and with volunteers – the American Heart Association, Octane, Beyond Blindness, Susan G. Komen Foundation, Second Harvest Food Bank, Operation Smile, American Red Cross, UC Irvine, Chapman University, and a variety of local STEM programs.

What are some important attributes that you look for in your workplace and workspace?

We look for an environment that fosters innovation – and is attractive to world-class talent, specifically in tech, engineering and biology. We also look for an environment that is conducive to diversity – to be representative of the patients and customers we serve.

Johnson & Johnson has been in Irvine over 30 years.

How has the growth of the medical-device sector in Orange County impacted J&J?

It’s been wonderful to see the medical-devices sector really grow its footprint in Orange County. There are great organizations like Octane and the CEO Leadership Alliance that have played such a great role in helping us build a thriving Orange County.

This benefits all of us, as it grows our collective pool of talent and helps to elevate innovation, which makes the area even more attractive to potential talent. This is good for our local community and good for patients around the world.

What are some interesting innovations that have come out of J&J’s work in Irvine?

Our largest business based in Irvine is Biosense Webster, which is the global leader when it comes to treatments for heart arrhythmias, like atrial fibrillation – or AFib.

AFib affects approximately 37.5 million people globally, and that number is expected to increase up to 70% by 2030. This is a condition that really holds people back from doing what they love – causing palpitations, fatigue, shortness of breath, dizziness and more. If left untreated, it can result in stroke or heart failure.

Through our work, we have significantly elevated standards of care for AFib patients and helped protect the well-being of the health care providers who treat them.

Looking at results from a recent study of one of our latest products, called QDOT MICRO, we’ve reduced average procedure times from 3.5 hours 10 years ago to 60 minutes today – and, importantly, reduced exposure to fluoroscopy (continuous X-ray) from 49 minutes to under 9 minutes today, with many cases not requiring any fluoro. At the same time, we’ve increased treatment success rates from 66% to 86%.

Other medtech leaders talk about Irvine innovation

Executives at three of America’s largest medical technology companies describe how Irvine has become an industry hub.


Brett Wall, executive vice president


“We have a wonderful ecosystem in Irvine in which people can begin their careers, grow their careers, carry their experiences from organization to organization and provide constant innovation to the industry.”


Darin J. Messina, senior vice president


“To be somewhere like Irvine – where entrepreneurial spirit is so present and palpable – that kind of environment helps me and my team work smarter and supports our drive to innovate.”

Edwards Lifesciences 

Bernard Zovighian, CEO


“There are strong universities and colleges locally, a number of well-regarded hospitals and academic medical centers, and an improving ability to access talent. All of this comes together to create a place where innovation focused on patient needs can thrive.”