Johnson & Johnson to split into two companies

US pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson has announced a plan to split into two companies to streamline its management. It will spin off its consumer business from the one that makes prescription drugs and medical devices.

Johnson & Johnson's consumer products include well-known brands such as Tylenol pain reliever and Band-Aid bandages. It will spin off those operations into a publicly traded company within two years.

The side of the business that makes prescription drugs and medical devices will keep the Johnson & Johnson name.

CEO Alex Gorsky said the shakeup represents a natural evolution for the company. He said it is the best way to improve healthcare outcomes for people around the world.

The decision is the latest in a trend among major businesses. On Tuesday, executives at General Electric announced they'll break the conglomerate into three publicly traded companies. On Friday, Japan-based Toshiba announced it will split its company into three separate businesses.