J Michael Pearson Bio, Age, Family, Education, Controversies, Illness, Net Worth, Duke, Career

J Michael Pearson Biography

J Michael Pearson is a Canadian American pharmaceutical company executive. He was previously the Chairman and CEO of the publicly traded Laval-based Valeant Pharmaceuticals International. On April 27, 2016, Pearson, Bill Ackman and Howard Schiller appeared before the United States Senate Special Committee on Aging.

The reason was to answer concerns about the repercussions for patients and the health care system faced with Valeant’s business model. Pearson is currently suing Valeant Pharmaceuticals for 32 million dollars. This is as compensation for his alleged wrongful termination as Chief Executive and Chairman of the Board.

J Michael Pearson Age

Michael was born in 1959 in London, Ontario, Canada. He is 60 years old.

J Michael Pearson Parents | Family

Pearson is the son of a father who worked for Bell Canada and helped design the phone lines in some of the small towns. Michael moved to New Jersey with his family when he was 12 years old. His father worked at McKinsey & Company, the global consulting firm.

J Michael Pearson Education

In 1981, J obtained a BS and BSE from Duke University, graduating Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa. He then earned an MBA from the University of Virginia Darden Graduate School of Business Administration. He describes his years at Duke as one of the best four years of his life because of all the wonderful people, the terrific education, and of course basketball! Not to mention he met his wife there.

J Michael Pearson Career

Pearson joined McKinsey & Company, where his father worked, in 1985 and worked as a consultant there for 23 years, rising to Director.  After graduating he pursued a career of 23 years at McKinsey and Company. It was a global management consultancy firm, serving as a director, member of the board of directors, head of the global pharmaceutical practice, and head of McKinsey’s mid-Atlantic region.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International

In 2008 he left McKinsey and joined Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc., a multinational specialty pharmaceutical company focusing on neurology and dermatology therapeutic areas. He served as the chairman of the board and chief executive officer.

In 2008, Pearson began implementing his strategy by selling off portions of Valeant’s European business to Meda AB. In 2010, Valeant and the Canadian-headquartered company Biovail agreed to merge, with the resulting company being called Valeant and being headquartered in Ontario.

Pearson was named CEO of the new company and then, in March 2011, he was appointed a chairman of the board. The Biovail merger, by headquartering the company in Canada, allowed the company to reduce its tax rate to approximately 5%.

At Valeant he has been able to make the company a stock-market favorite, raising the sales to $2.5 billion and acquiring 21 companies in less than four years. The Wall Street Journal listed Pearson as one of the best CEO in 2008.

Michael Pearson

J Michael Pearson Wife | Children

Michael is a married man. He is married to his wife Christine Pearson. The couple is blessed with four children John Pearson, Morgan Pearson, Trevor Pearson, and Andrew Pearson.

J Michael Pearson Salary | Net Worth

As of 2016, he was estimated to have a net worth of $ 175 million USD. Although as of 2019 his estimated net worth is currently under review.

J Michael Pearson Illness | Health


Pearson was hospitalized on December 25 and was treated for severe pneumonia. Valeant’s board created an office of the Chief Executive Officer to immediately take over his duties and a supporting committee to oversee the office of the CEO.

The committee includes Robert Ingram, president of ValueAct Capital Mason Morfit and former Valeant CFO Howard Schiller. According to Reuters, following the announcement Valeant shares fell 10.5 percent to $102.14 on the New York Stock Exchange after its stock had already fallen more than 60 percent since August.

Industry critics claim that since Valeant has suffered from credibility issues over the pricing controversy and is still not on solid ground, the company needs strong decisive leadership, not a committee.

On February 29, 2016, Pearson returned to the now controversial company. On March 15, shares in the company collapsed by 50 percent following a disastrous earnings call fronted by J. On March 21, 2016, Valeant reported that CEO Michael would be leaving the company, a decision that, as reported by CNBC, was not mutual.

The company also reported that former Chief Financial Officer Howard Schiller was to blame for improper conduct > they requested he resigns from the board of directors, which Schiller declined to do. Circular Firing Squad Emerges was how Piper Jaffray & Co analysts led by David Amsellem put it.

On April 13, 2016, it was announced that Pearson would be deposed from his position as CEO of Valeant on April 18, 2016. The removal was ordered by the Senate Special Committee on Aging who have been probing the soaring price of prescription drugs. Pearson initially fought the decision through Valeant’s board directed him to comply.


Tax rate

Valeant’s conversion to a Canadian company via the Valeant/Biovail merger in 2010 allowed the company to reduce its corporate tax rate to approximately 5%. Congress used Burger King and Valeant as examples of companies with tax advantages in a July 2015 investigation of corporate taxation.

The investigation primarily focused on the advantage that foreign companies have in acquiring American companies due to their low tax rates and members of Congress suggested that many of the deals by foreign companies, including Valeant, relied upon tax advantages to be completed.

During the testimony, Valeant CFO Howard Schiller stated that Valeant does not take into account tax synergies in either identifying or pricing potential acquisition targets.


When pharmaceutical pricing tactics became a topic for the press and politicians in 2015, Valeant’s price increase history became a major focus, with investigations revealing that the company had taken substantial price increases on many products from 2013 through 2015.

This included two products that it acquired and then raised the price substantially. In response to inquiries about these price increases, Valeant’s company spokesperson said Our duty is to our shareholders and to maximize value. Pearson agreed to appear before a Senate committee investigating the matter in April 2016.

Accounting tactics

Many have accused Pearson’s strategy at Valeant of being a roll-up dependent on acquisitions and aggressive accounting tactics while others claim it is not. As Valeant’s debt reached roughly $30 billion by 2016, concerns continued to be raised about accounting practices.

Valeant defended itself against these allegations in an SEC filing in October 2015. Pearson was the highest paid CEO in Canada in 2015, receiving US$182.9 million during a period when Valeant’s share price fell by 30%.

J Michael Pearson Duke

J obtained a BS and BSE from Duke University. With his company’s R&D division in Durham and two of his children studying at Duke as a freshman and a sophomore, Pearson visits Duke more often now. Keeping his ties to his alma mater, he is on Fuqua’s Board of Visitors, sponsors an athletic scholarship for Duke students, and contributes to Duke basketball financially.

He has made a gift of $15 million on behalf of his wife to Duke’s School of Nursing in recognition of their recent advancements towards improved health care. This generous gift has enabled the school to name its building after his wife.