The Veritable Paragon In Human Resources Commerce Essay

Published: Last Edited:

This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

Genentech, the pioneer of the biotechnology industry located in San Francisco Bay area (California), was the second largest biotech company in the world, only behind Amgen. Genentech was founded in 1976 by venture capitalist Robert A. Swanson and biochemist Dr. Herbert W. Boyer. The company was a leading provider of anti-tumor therapeutics in the US and by 2006; Genentech had multiple products on the market for serious/life-threatening medical conditions and over 40 projects in the pipeline. Genentech's total operating revenues had increased more than five-folds from $1.3 billion in 1999 to $6.6 billion in 2005. According to an industry analyst [2] :

"Genentech is the brightest star in a promising industry that has chronically overachieved. Genentech's secret, anybody here will tell you, is its culture. And that is what has propelled the company to the top of this year's 100 Best Companies to Work For. Employees there overwhelmingly believe their jobs have meaning, that their CEO wants their feedback, and that work/life balance is more than just a buzzword."

Genentech was not the only biotech company that made it to the Fortune's "100 Best Company to Work for" list in 2006 (Annexure I). The other biotech companies like, Alcon was ranked at 32, Amgen at 39 and Genzyme was placed at 51. This established that biotechnology, a knowledge intensive industry and highly dependent on availability of specially trained professionals (particularly research scientists and technicians) laid a lot of emphasis on people management.

US Biotechnology Industry

The 21st century (mid-1970s) brought in a new industry - the Biotechnology which made profound impact in the field of health, food, agriculture and environmental protection. The biotechnology market consisted of the development, manufacturing and marketing of products based on advanced biotechnology research. The biotechnology industry served both medical and non-medical markets. The medical market included human therapeutics and human diagnostics as well as applications in veterinary medicine. While, the non-medical markets encompassed both agriculture and industrial applications [3] .

In roughly three decades; since the development of recombinant DNA technologies in research laboratories, over 2,000 firms had been founded in the US alone to explore and take advantage of the new field. The rapid growth of the US biotech industry was seen throughout the 1990s, and by early 2000s the US was the largest biotechnology market in the world, with more than half of global revenues flowing in the US. The US biotechnology industry had multiplied four times in size since 1992, with revenues increasing from $8 billion to $39 billion in 2003 (Annexure II). The market value of the US biotech industry reached $60.5 billion in 2004, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.5% for the five-year period spanning 2000-04. Moreover, the market was forecasted to decelerate its current performance slightly, with an anticipated CAGR of 11% for the five-year period 2004-2009 expected to drive the market to a value of $102.2 billion by the end of 2009 (an increase of 68.9% since 2004) (Annexure III).

The US biotech industry (like other high-tech industries) evolved into various geographic clusters based on access to venture capital, high quality local research institutes and strategic linkages between biotech firms, government and academia. The leading clusters in the US included the San Francisco Bay Area, Boston/New England, San Diego, Washington DC/Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina and the Seattle/Northwest region. For example, Seattle bioteches received significant capital from local corporate giant, Microsoft; Boston was distinguished by the number and proximity of its world class research institutes; and North Carolina bioteches received strong political support from government representatives.

The biotech industry was not only dynamic, growing and global; but also highly knowledge intensive industry. Consequently, the biotech industry had more than money and investment to depend on; the most important being the HR factor. So most of the leading biotechnology clusters in the US were also located near leading research centers i.e., Silicon Valley next to Stanford and Berkeley, Boston near Harvard and MIT, and Washington D.C./Maryland near Johns Hopkins University and the NIH. Most of the biotech firms' leading strategies to attract human capital were to engage in joint research and collaboration with the universities.

The biotechnology industry had to lay increasing emphasis on skilled knowledge workers and the success of this industry was highly dependent upon its ability to attract, supply and retains individual workers with the right skills at the right time. Moreover, the employees of the biotech industry, in particular the researchers and scientists preferred a challenging scientific environment at the firms. Maintaining an attractive job environment and at the same time retain the scarce resource was challenging.

The biotech companies were adopting comparable HR strategies and by 2006, many biotech companies had made it to the Fortune's "100 best companies to work for." Some companies continued with the traditional benefits offered to employees, such as, medical insurance and retirement plans, flexible work environment (which included but not limited to, flexible work hours and the option of telecommuting from home), while others adopted unique culture to combine the intellectual integrity with the financial incentives. The new HR tool offered freedom to scientists and researchers to move into new areas of research through collaboration with researchers in different fields. For example; Immunex, a Seattle based company provided collaborative environment. According to Paul Carter, director of Protein Engineering, Immunex [4] :

"…part of what excites me about working here is being able to work with people who are not only first-rate scientists, but embrace the idea of working in a collaborative way. An environment where you can tap into a lot of different areas outside of your own primary expertise really profoundly extends what you can do yourself."

At the same time, the biotech firm's major attraction was providing a competitive remuneration package. For instance; in 2001, the biotech chiefs earned an average of $400,000 in base salary per year compared with $300,000 for heads of medical instrument firms and $381,000 for CEOs of drug companies. The average cash compensation (both annual salary and bonus) paid to biotech CEOs rose nearly 5% to $596,000 in 2004, from $567,000 in 2003. In addition to CEOs, the biggest compensation receivers were the top R&D executives (the combined salaries and bonuses averaged $366,000), the business/corporate development officer (compensation averaged to $298,000), and the chief financial officer's (received $335,000). The payment of high compensation was not limited to senior level managers in the biotech, the beginning salaries for master's graduates was around $65,000 and $90,000 for Ph.D.'s. In 2004, the average Bay Area salary for a biomedical worker was $67,690, while Wal-Mart paid an average of $47,791 to salaried employees.

Work Life at Genentech

"At the very beginning we planned to bring the best characteristics of an academic environment to the Genentech corporate culture. We hired the most competent, enthusiastic people we could find, providing a stimulating, challenging, yet supportive environment, and encouraged publications, peer interaction, and open communication. That tradition of looking for the best people, the right people, and encouraging their creativity has been what makes Genentech 'work.' I take great pride in their dedication and enthusiasm and their significant contributions to science and human health."

Herbert Boyer, Ph.D., Genentech Co-Founder [5] 

Genentech, a biotechnology company used the human genetic information to discover, develop, commercialize and manufacture bio-therapeutics that addressed significant unmet medical needs. Genentech primarily focused on four areas of medicine: oncology [6] , vascular medicine [7] , immunology [8] , and specialty therapeutics [9] . Genentech was founded by venture capitalist Robert Swanson and molecular biologist Herbert Boyer in 1976 to commercialize gene-splicing [10] techniques that mass-produced genetically engineered substances. In 1980, the company went public and it was the first biotech company to bring genetically engineered [11] drug to market. Genentech grew rapidly and as of December 2005, the company's total operating revenues was $6.6 billion.

Genentech's success depended on 3-Rights: Right environment/culture, Right people and Right employee benefits to retain the highly qualified and motivated people in all areas of the company. The number of employees of Genentech had nearly tripled, from 3,400 (in 1999) to more than 9,500 by 2005. Of the more than 9,500 Genentech employees, more than 80% had college degrees and more than 20% held advanced degrees, including Ph.D.s and M.D.s. Genentech demanded the best from its employees and rewarded them accordingly with an extraordinary benefits plan. At the same time, Genentech continued to receive external recognition as an employer of choice (Annexure IV & V). For instance; in 2006, Fortune ranked Genentech #1 on its list of the "100 Best Companies to Work for" in America, Science magazine named Genentech "the top employer and most admired company in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries" for the fourth year in a row; Working Mother magazine named Genentech one of the "100 Best Companies for Working Mothers" for the 13th time; and ESSENCE magazine recognized Genentech as one of 17 "Great Places to Work."

Right Values and Culture

"Our employees are the foundation of our business. We are pleased that our work environment and culture enable them to continually innovate and achieve results that improve and extend the lives of patients."

Levinson [12] 

Genentech's culture was based on trust and respect human (both patients and employees). Genentech was founded on the concept of an academically-oriented environment where excellent science and research took place in a unique corporate culture. Genentech employees equated their company with college campus. The company provided a stimulating, challenging and supportive environment that encouraged peer interaction and open communication. According to the company spokesperson [13] :

"Basically my description in a nutshell would be that it's like a university atmosphere. The corporate culture closely mirrors the campus atmosphere of academia. Employees enjoy a 'laid-back culture,' with 'no policy manuals.' Those in research and development appreciate an atmosphere that is 'encouraging of freedom.' The company understands that its future is new products and so tries to establish an environment conducive to creativity. This apparently extends to extracurricular projects: Our scientists are allowed to work on their own projects several times a month (scientists spend 20% of each workweek pursuing their pet projects)."

Genentech created an informal and enjoyable environment, where people enjoyed coming to work every day. For instance, every Friday evening, Genentech hosted socials called Ho-Ho - 'Genentechese for kegger [14] ; the company provided free food, beverages, and a chance to socialize with co-workers or meet new friends. There were company-wide celebrations in honor of corporate milestones, every milestone called for a party and a commemorative T-shirt. The employees commuted between the buildings by free commuter shuttle bus service and bicycles provided by the company (campus bikes, known as "GenenClunkers").

The company used minimum guidelines and procedures and instead asked its employees to contribute their ideas, knowledge and efforts to achieve goals. At Genentech, using market data or return-on-investment analysis to drive the science was strictly taboo and the main focus was on making drugs that gave results. Status got the least importance in the company and was conveyed not by fancy title or bigger office (even CEO Levinson's office measured 9 feet by 12 feet and was made up with low-end metal office furniture), but was defined by matching wits and taking risks.

At the same time, Genentech encouraged hard work, team work and intellectual honesty and candid participation. The company respected timely decisions and accountability for the outcome. So, Genentech ensured that a rigor was maintained and hence once or twice in a year, all the staff scientists and researchers had to defend their work before the Research Review Committee (RRC - a group of 13 Ph.D.s that decided how to allot the research budget). The review process ensured to examine the research process, identify the shortcomings, avoid dead ends and above all remove politics and favoritism. In this regard, Levinson commented [15] :

"Some find the experience nerve-wracking, and that's okay. I don't want people terrified, but it should not be a cakewalk either. The rigor is designed to have enough information to place the right bets on the research that will most likely lead to an actual drug. Sometimes scientists fail, or the work isn't deemed sufficiently high priority, and the RRC puts an end to a project. In those cases, not only are the researchers not fired; they usually have a say in their next assignment."

Genentech's work culture also projected a strong sense of their mission and also showcased that each employee's work was important, for instance, the company show cased huge photographs of patients helped by the company's drugs. Apart from this the company had a direct and open communication system to ensure honesty with the customers, stockholders, one another and the community. Genentech encouraged new ideas and candid feedbacks, and valued them on the basis of merit. The internal communication system between top management and employees was also unique and admired. For example, CEO Levinson sent the quarterly e-mail updates and encouraged employees to send him direct feedback. The company also had created gCom - Genentech's Compliance and Ethics Phone Line, which provided a confidential way for its employees, vendors and others to report issues, complaints or concerns about a suspected breach in ethics, compliance requirements, financial accounting or financial auditing matters, or company policy that had the potential to result in criminal or civil liability for the company. Moreover, the reports could be made on an anonymous basis.

Furthermore, diversity was the core value and culture of Genentech. The company ensured a diverse work environment where diversity of thought, style, culture, skill sets and perspective was valued and celebrated in support of individual performance and potential, as well as with the business goals and mission. Even the company's workforce was diverse, at the year-end of 2005, 49% of the employees, 49% of new hires and 43% of officers and managers were female. In addition, 43% of workforce, 47% of new hires, and 31% of officers and managers were minorities. The company not only hired people from different backgrounds, they also sponsored Employee Associations, such as African-Americans in Biotechnology; Filipino Americans Coming Together at Genentech; Genentech Out and Equal; Latinos Unidos; and South Asians Network @ Genentech.

Right People

"From 55 employees in 1979 to more than 9,500 today (2006), our growth has been spectacular. Throughout this remarkable expansion, a simple idea has guided us: hire the best people, give them the freedom to do the best they can, trust them and give them credit."

Company Website [16] 

Genentech's success was largely related to its culture, but at the same time it also depended on its skill to hire the right people for the right job. During recruitment, Genentech's general practice was not to accept resumes or placement information from any individual or agency that supplied candidates for a fee. To build business relationship with Genentech, a recruitment agency had to complete a supplier registration process and also provide its corporate literature. After receiving the information (the supplier registration form and corporate literature), Genentech decided to pursue a partnership or not. Genentech had developed a diverse supplier pool in order to maximize the quality and talent available to the company.

Apart from the diverse supplier pool, Genentech also searched for talented students with aptitude and initiative to get involved with the company. The full-time enrolled students of accredited college or university were selected. Genentech visited campuses across the US to discuss opportunities available with the company and to identify those students who were completing the sophomore [17] year by June and with plans to return to school in fall (September). Genentech hired interns in many areas of study, but mostly the students whose major was in life or chemical sciences or science engineering were opted. Genentech also recruited MBA students and graduates for summer internships and full-time opportunities. Regarding qualifications, HR employee of Genentech commented [18] :

"We look for people who can learn new techniques quickly, who can create mountains of well-controlled data when necessary, and who can interact well in collaborations within the company."

The recruitment process at Genentech was elaborate and a candidate to be finalized took around five or six visits and around 20 interviews with several employees in the lab or department that offered the position, as well as human resources. The process was mainly to screen out candidates with preoccupied notions of salary, title and personal advancement. According to Levinson [19] :

"We're extremely nonhierarchical. We're not wearing ties. People don't call us doctor. We don't have special dining rooms. (They aren't even assigned parking spaces and its hell in the morning to find a spot.) Executive job seekers from Big Pharma, especially, find that a jolt. A lot of them say, 'But I like being different! I like being special!' Well, you're not going to be special here. If that's important to you, that's fine. But you won't be happy here."

Genentech's interview process was more laid-back compared to other biotech firms. Moreover, the process was only to ensure that they let the candidates be aware of what they were getting themselves into. Genentech's employees remarked [20] :

"I imagine overall, the whole interview process at Genentech is more informal than you might be used to, which is not to say that you shouldn't get dressed up for an interview - you still want to look snazzy, as always (just be prepared to stand out, since everyone around you will most likely be wearing blue jeans, shorts, etc). No surprises or tricks, the idea is to match your qualifications and goals to a position that Genentech needs filled."

Genentech's focus was to identify people who were passionate about research. One such employee example was Ellen Filvaroff; a senior scientist in molecular oncology. She had decorated her cubical walls with the pictures of her patients and her toddler side by side. The perks she liked the most were little things such as being able to buy birthday cards and stamps and to mail packages from company stores, while the biggest perk she liked was to have colleagues who help her to uncover the science.

To simplify and intensify the recruitment process; and at the same time to hire the brightest minds in the industry, Genentech adopted the PeopleSoft 8 HRMS. The PeopleSoft 8 enabled Genentech's hiring managers to look at resumes, do searches and look up the status of the candidates or job requisitions - all online. Employees got easy access to information across the enterprise and also could enroll in benefits plans from any web browser - in the office or at home. The eRecruit process also gave Genentech's retention efforts a boost. In this regard, Carol Bogardus, director of HRIT, Genentech commented [21] :

"We'd rather have an employee switch jobs within the organization than lose them entirely. When current employees apply for new jobs within Genentech, they'll be able to access job postings and apply with ease using eRecruit. Having such easy access to information will enable us to quickly find the person-to-position match that's best for everyone involved."

Once a candidate was employed, a new-hire orientation was given which included patient lectures, history lessons by Boyer and other old-timers, in-depth sessions on the company's goals, and its science. Genentech conducted poll with its workers on weekly basis to identify complaints and monitor whether all the new candidates were aligned with the company's goals. Although the company had full fledged recruitment and orientation process, it was running into the risk of becoming too large. By the end of 2006, 40% of its workforce would be only three years old at the company, while another 40% of its managers were to be new to their positions.

Right Employee Benefits

"Genentech employees "get oodles and oodles of perks, really good perks" such as a summer farmers' market in the parking lot; on-site child care; concierge service; and on-site car wash, dental care and hair salon. Genentech also scored high for "fun." It hosts weekly "Ho Hos," a variation of the Friday afternoon beer bust. Its bashes are legendary: Elton John performed at one last year. It's a really fun place, they clearly work hard but they play, too."

Robert Levering, co-founder, Great Place to Work Institute, San Francisco [22] 

Genentech offered its employees one of the most comprehensive variety of benefits, services and programs in the industry. These programs were designed to make it easier and more convenient for employees to manage the sometimes difficult task of juggling work and everyday life. Genentech provided company-subsidized child care center for children six-weeks to six-years old, as of 2004, child-care center looked after 254 kids full-time, and backup care was also available. The company gave financial assistance up to $5000 of expenses for each legal adoption and six weeks paid leave to the primary caregiver. Genentech also offered flexible scheduling and it was widely used, about 90% of its employee used flextime at least once in a year and 12% opted for a compressed workweek. All new moms received a generous 24 weeks of job-guaranteed leave, with six weeks fully paid and above that the company had nursing mother's rooms throughout the corporate campus.

Genentech not only assisted the employees within the campus, but also provided transportation facility both on campus and outside to reach the campus. Free commuter shuttles provided transportation to and from the South San Francisco BART [23] and the CalTrain [24] station, while the campus shuttle transported employees around the corporate campus. The company had many commuting programs that included car pools, van pools, and Guaranteed Ride Home Program was offered by Security Services for emergency situations, as well as automobile jump starts and assistance if employees were locked out of their car. The Transit Tickets for BART, Muni [25] , and CalTrain were sold on campus in the Genenstore. The Genenstore also sold many items such as company-logo clothing, book bags and mugs, as well as stamps.

The company's benefits program also ensured that the employees' education and training needs were met. Employees checked out books and journals from the company operated two 24-hour libraries which stocked Genentech-related literature, as well as personal reference books and audio-books for commuters. Many on-site courses such as computer training, personal growth, career management and diversity training were available to the employees too. The employees after a year of service in the company could get their tuition, books and lab fees reimbursed (100% of costs, i.e. up to $10,000 a year) for courses related to their career. The financial and saving benefits offered by Genentech to its employees included the 401(k) plan [26] , where employees could defer up to 50% of their pay and the company would match up to 5% of the first 5% contributed by the employee each year.

Genentech also took care of its employee's vacation and recreational activities. Apart from twelve paid holidays per year (ten of which were scheduled and 2 floating days), leave of absence was provided for family care, maternity, medical conditions, parental care or personal leave. Moreover, all the employees received a six continuous week paid sabbatical for every six years of service. The leave also could be combined with vacation days to allow up to nine weeks off (more than 2,500 sabbaticals were taken by 2004). In addition, discounts were available for Disneyland, Sea World, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Santa Cruz Boardwalk, Marine World and free sneak-preview movie passes. Genentech had subsidized Cafeterias that served breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and offered take-home dinner entrees, while Iced Tea and coffee were free.

Genentech also took responsibility towards the health and fitness of its employees by ensuring that the workspace was ergonomically correct. To take care of the employee's health, Genentech sponsored Flu shots annually through Occupational Health Services, organized on-site health seminars and offered three medical plans, two vision plans, and two dental plans to choose from, while spouses, domestic partners, and children under age 19 (or age 25 full-time student) were covered under the plan of employee's choice.

To uphold its academically-oriented environment, the company had introduced anniversary recognition awards for 3, 5, 10, 15, 20 and 25 years of service at Genentech. The company also awarded cash bonuses called GenenChecks to a team or individual when an extraordinary milestone was achieved.

HR Challenges Ahead

Genentech, in spite of being a biotech leader and best company to work for had its own human resource challenges to meet with. Analysts were worried with the hiring explosion happening at Genentech. As of December 31, 2005, around 1500 new workers were hired (an increase of approximately 25% over 2004) making the employee count more than 9,500 employees and Genentech anticipated approximately 15% growth in 2006. Industry watchers were concerned with the rising challenge of assimilating the new staff during the rapid growth. Moreover, the significant increase in new employees was challenging to a company whose culture had been so critical to its success.

In this regard Levinson worried [27] :

"Right now, with the company averaging 151 new employees a month, the thing I worry about most is managing our growth and protecting Genentech's mission, focus, and culture. It's much easier to get alignment when you have fewer people. "

Apart from the threat of rapid growth of employees, Genentech was also facing problems of employee dissatisfaction in terms of salary. According to the insiders of Genentech [28] :

"You might find better pay at one of the smaller Biotech companies that seem to be popping up all over the Bay Area. Genentech pays slightly below the industry standard. The compensation is measly."

But according to the human resource group of Genentech, the company was planning to implement salary adjustment based on the industry standards. But everyone was not so optimistic about it.

Annexure I

Fortune's 100 Best Company's to Work for

"The 100 Best Companies to Work For" list is compiled for FORTUNE by Robert Levering and Milton Moskowitz of the Great Place to Work Institute in San Francisco, based on two criteria: an evaluation of the policies and culture of each company, and the opinions of the company's employees. The latter is given more weight; two-thirds of the total score comes from employee responses to a 57-question survey which goes to a minimum of 400 randomly selected employees from each company. More than 100,000 employees from 466 companies participated in the survey this year, up from 356 candidate companies last year. It asks about things such as attitudes towards management, job satisfaction, and camaraderie within the organization. The remaining one-third of the score is based on an evaluation of each company's demographic makeup, pay and benefits programs, and culture. Companies are scored in four areas: credibility (communication to employees), respect (opportunities and benefits), fairness (compensation, diversity), and pride/camaraderie (philanthropy, celebrations).

The Eligibility Requirements:

To be eligible, an organization must meet all of the following requirements:

Have a minimum of 1,000 regular full- and part-time U.S employees (not including temporary employees, interns etc.)

Have been in operation for at least seven years by the nomination deadline. If the organization existed in a different form (e.g. part of another company, under a different name) they are eligible to participate as long as there are employees who have been working at the company for seven years or more.

Government agencies are not eligible. A governmental agency is defined as an arm of the government or an organization where any leaders are appointed by government official or are elected by the community. If an organization is a private company or a non-profit whose leaders are appointed/elected, this would make you ineligible.

A company is not eligible if going through a merger/acquisition that adds 25% or more to their US employee population at any time throughout the year in which the process occurs. Any company who has recently undergone a merger/acquisition that adds 25% to their US employee population must have closed on the merger/acquisition by the December before the nomination deadline (e.g., by December 31, 2006 to participate in the list published in January 2008).

It is acceptable for a company to go through a divestment of any size during the process - as long as you inform us prior to the survey process in June.

Companies must also apply on behalf of the whole organization. In other words, subsidiaries of larger organizations are typically only eligible for participation along with the parent organization. For example if a parent company owns two independently operating U.S. subsidiaries in the same industry, they will need to apply as the parent organization, including both subsidiaries. If a hospital is owned by a larger Health System, the Health System will need to apply as a whole, including all hospitals, nursing homes and any other entities that are owned by the larger organization.

Source: Compiled from:

(a) "Genentech Tops FORTUNE's 2006 ''100 Best Companies to Work For'' List; Wegmans Food Markets Drops to No. 2; Valero Energy Jumps to No. 3,", January 09, 2006

(b)" Nomination and Application Process:"100 Best Companies to Work for" as published in Fortune magazine,"

Annexure II

US Biotech Industry Statistics

U.S. Biotech Industry Statistics: 1994-2004*





































R&D Expense












Net Loss












No. of Public Companies












No. of Companies
























Note: *Amounts are U.S. dollars in billions. Financial data based primarily on fiscal-year financial statements of publicly traded companies.

Sources: "Ernst & Young LLP, annual biotechnology industry reports, 1993-2005,"

US Biotech Companies by State and Province

Source: "Ernst & Young LLP, America's Biotechnology Report: Resurgence, 2004"

Annexure III

US Biotechnology Industry Facts

Note: The market value reflected revenues of companies within the biotechnology industry from product sales, licensing fees, royalties and research funding.

Source: "Biotechnology in the United States Industry Profile,", October 2005

Annexure IV

Genentech - Timeline for Top Employer Recognition


Robert Swanson and Dr. Herbert Boyer founded Genentech on April 7.


Genentech produced the first human protein (somatostatin) in a microorganism (E. coli bacteria).


Genentech went public and raised $35 million with an offering that leapt from $35 a share to a high of $88 after less than an hour on the market. The event was one of the largest stock run-ups ever.


First recombinant DNA drug marketed: human insulin (licensed to Eli Lilly and Company).


Genentech opened its day-care center, Genentech's Second Generation, one of the largest corporate-sponsored day-care centers in the United States.


Genentech opened the Founders Research Center, dedicated to founders Robert Swanson and Dr. Herbert Boyer in appreciation of their vision and determination to pursue the promise of biotechnology.


Genentech celebrated the 20-year anniversary of its founding.


Genentech co-founder Robert Swanson was awarded (posthumously) the National Medal of Technology for his foresight and leadership in recognizing the commercial promise of recombinant DNA technology and his seminal role in the establishment and development of the biotechnology industry.


Genentech was named one of the "Top 50 Pharma Companies for Women" by Pharmaceutical Executive magazine in its June 2000 issue.

Genentech was honored by The Child Care Coordinating Council of San Mateo County with the Corporate Advocate Award for leadership in on-site child care and creating a family-friendly workplace and culture. This was the first year the Family Forum recognized a corporation. The theme was "Family and Work: the Balancing Act."


Genentech celebrated the 25th anniversary of its founding.


Genentech was named by Health magazine as one of the top 10 healthiest companies for women.


Genentech was named by Working Mother magazine as one of the best places to work for working mothers for the 12th time.

Genentech was named by Science magazine as "the top employer and most admired company in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries" for the third consecutive year.

Genentech was selected as the world's most admired biotechnology company by pharmaceutical industry professionals participating in the annual Med Ad News Most Admired Companies survey.

For the fourth year in a row, Genentech was listed on the Black Collegian's "Top 100 Employers" list. Genentech was ranked number 58 for the Class of 2004 by the magazine.


Genentech was named by FORTUNE magazine as one of the "100 Best Companies To Work For" for the seventh consecutive year.

Genentech was named by Business Ethics magazine as one of the "100 Best Corporate Citizens."

Genentech was listed by ESSENCE magazine as a "Great Place to Work" for the third year in a row.

Genentech was named by Science magazine as "the top employer and most admired company in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries" for the fourth year.

Genentech was named one of the "100 Best Companies for Working Mothers" by Working Mother Magazine for the 13th year.

Genentech was included on The Scientist's list of the Best Places to Work in Industry for the second year in a row.


FORTUNE named Genentech number one on its annual list of the "100 Best Companies to Work For."

In April, Genentech celebrated the 30th anniversary of its founding.

Genentech was ranked number one on the San Francisco Business Times 2006 list of "Best Places to Work in the Bay Area,"

FORTUNE magazine ranked Genentech number 35 on its list of "100 Top MBA Employers."


Annexure V

Genentech: Best Companies Practice

Genentech's Culture, Mission, Vision, Products: 

These statements and goals tell you about the company's purpose and direction:

In business for life.

Work that really matters.

Curing cancer.

Collaboration is a way of life.

Long-term, high risk research.

Wants to imbue employees with idealism.

Research Review Committee centered.

Genentech's Core and Other Values include:


Commitment to improving health.

Commitment to the environment.

Non-hierarchical management structure.

Trust and respect.


Commitment to employee happiness and well-being.

Genentech's Philanthropic Outlook and Community Outreach:

The Genentech Foundation for Biomedical Sciences is an independent, nonprofit organization that supplies support to biomedical education and research to schools in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Donates millions of dollars of drugs to uninsured and underinsured members of the community. Enables employee community service and donations.

Genentech's Employee Benefits and Perks: 

Genentech is an employee-valuing company that provides outstanding benefits for their employees.

Ninety-five percent of employees are shareholders.

Workers are polled weekly to find complaints and to make sure things in the company are working.

Tuition assistance.

Lending library.

Full cost of Bay-area gym membership.

Business casual attire.

Free cappuccino, java, and iced tea.

Made-to-order sushi in egalitarian lunch rooms.

Friday night keg parties (Ho-Hos).

Scientists spend 20 percent of their work week on pet projects.

Offers sabbaticals to avoid burnout.

Daycare and nursing rooms.

Concierge service.

Campus overlooks San Francisco Bay; has shuttle busses and bicycles.

Milestones are celebrated with T-shirts and sometimes huge parties with celebrity bands.

Parking is first-come, first-served.

Company store on campus.

Company store online.

Halloween costume dress-up.

Source: Susan M. Heathfield, "Genentech: Best Companies' Practices,"